AskDefine | Define arena

Dictionary Definition

arena

Noun

1 a particular environment or walk of life; "his social sphere is limited"; "it was a closed area of employment"; "he's out of my orbit" [syn: sphere, domain, area, orbit, field]
2 the central area of an ancient Roman amphitheater where contests and spectacles were held; especially a sand-strewn area
3 a large structure for open-air sports or entertainments [syn: stadium, bowl, sports stadium]
4 a playing field where sports events take place [syn: scene of action]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From arena.

Noun

  1. An enclosed area, often outdoor, for the presentation of sporting events or other spectacular events; earthen area, often oval, specifically for rodeos (N. America) or circular area for bullfights (esp. Hispanic America).
    A large crowd filled the seats of the arena.
  2. The building housing such an area.
    The arena is grey with white beams.
  3. (Ancient Rome) The sand-covered centre of an amphitheatre where contests were held.
    The gladiators entered the arena.
  4. (Metaphorically) A place where important political or other events unfold.
    The company was a player in the maritime insurance arena.

Translations

Italian

Noun

  1. Sand
  2. Beach or lido
  3. Space in a classical ampitheatre; arena
  4. Bullring and similar sporting spaces

Latin

Alternative spellings

Etymology

From an earlier *hasena, possibly

Noun

  1. sand
  2. an arena
arēnā

Descendants

Neapolitan

Noun

arena f
  1. sand

Sardinian

Etymology

From Spanish arena

Noun

arena

Spanish

Etymology

Latin arēna

Noun

arena (plural: arenas)
  1. sand, gravel
  2. bullfight arena; boxing ring

Extensive Definition

An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the lowest point, allowing for maximum visibility. Usually, an arena is designed to accommodate a fairly large number of spectators.
The term arena is sometimes used as a synonym for a very large venue such as Pasadena's Rose Bowl, but such a facility is typically called a stadium. The use of one term over the other has mostly to do with the type of event. Football is typically played in a stadium while basketball and hockey are typically played in an arena, although many of the larger arenas hold more spectators than do the stadiums of smaller colleges or high schools. And there are exceptions. The home of the Duke University basketball team would qualify as an arena, but the facility is called Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The term "arena" is also used loosely to refer to any event or type of event which either literally or metaphorically takes place in such a location — often with the specific intent of comparing an idea to a sporting event, such as "the arena of war" or "the arena of love" or "the political arena". In many fighting games, the stage that opponents are fought in is also called an arena.
In the United States, the term arena generally refers specifically to indoor stadiums or NHL, NBA, AFL or indoor MLB, NFL.
The Latin word arena means "sand", which was useful as the primary surface where gladiators battled, to absorb the blood. In Spanish, the word carries both meanings. A bullfight is held in an arena (or plaza de toros, literally "circus/square of bulls") and its floor is also covered with arena.
There are small calcifications located in the pineal gland called corpora arenacea, or "brain sand".
arena in Bulgarian: Арена
arena in German: Arena
arena in Spanish: Arena (recinto)
arena in Dutch: Arena (gebouw)
arena in Japanese: アリーナ
arena in Polish: Arena
arena in Romanian: Arenă
arena in Swedish: Arena
arena in Ukrainian: Арена

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

academic discipline, academic specialty, ambit, amphitheater, applied science, area, art, assembly hall, auditorium, back, backdrop, background, bailiwick, beat, border, borderland, chapel, cincture, circle, circuit, circus, close, concern, concert hall, confine, container, convention hall, coop, court, courtyard, curtilage, dance hall, delimited field, demesne, department, department of knowledge, discipline, distance, domain, dominion, enclave, enclosure, exhibition hall, field, field of inquiry, field of study, fold, gallery, ground, hall, hemisphere, hinterland, judicial circuit, jurisdiction, lecture hall, list, locale, march, meetinghouse, mise-en-scene, music hall, natural science, ology, opera house, orb, orbit, pale, paling, park, pen, precinct, province, pure science, quad, quadrangle, realm, rear, ring, round, scene, science, setting, social science, specialty, sphere, square, stadium, stage, stage set, stage setting, study, technicology, technics, technology, theater, toft, walk, yard
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