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the oval space in the center of a Roman amphitheater for gladiatorial combats or other performances.
a central stage, ring, area, or the like, used for sports or other forms of entertainment, surrounded by seats for spectators:
a boxing arena; a circus arena.
a building housing an arena.
a field of conflict, activity, or endeavor:
the arena of politics.
Contemporary Examples

Most of their fans filed out of the arena quietly, while some reportedly chanted, “Kings of Ripoff!”
Are Kings of Leon Breaking Up? Marlow Stern August 1, 2011

The French left that, if Strauss-Kahn were really out of the arena, would lose its champion.
Bernard-Henri Lévy Defends Accused IMF Director Bernard-Henri Lévy May 15, 2011

While I was in the arena, a demonstrator who’d been shot in the shoulder lay on his side for about an hour on the arena floor.
Egypt’s Government Thugs Beat Me Up at the Rabaa Sit-In Mike Giglio August 13, 2013

She flitzed and flounced around the arena like a spritely Soviet fairy.
Sotnikova Beat Kim Yu-Na? Figure Skating Is Probably Corrupt (But We Knew That) Kevin Fallon February 20, 2014

And one arena in which to stage that confrontation—with madness, apathy, family dysfunction, poverty, etc.—is the theater.
Broadway Was Made for Tupac Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Marcyliena Morgan July 6, 2014

Historical Examples

They come in on horseback, and amid enthusiastic greetings from the crowd ride into the arena.
Stars of the Opera Mabel Wagnalls

His action in the arena had called forth unbounded enthusiasm.
“Unto Caesar” Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Giotto represents this vice under the same symbol; but it is the weakest of all the figures in the arena Chapel.
The Stones of Venice, Volume II (of 3), John Ruskin

He motioned to some of the keepers, who opened for him the gates that led to the arena.
The Martyr of the Catacombs Anonymous

He walked across the arena, and then completely around it in a kind of trot, as though searching for escape.
The Martyr of the Catacombs Anonymous


an enclosure or platform, usually surrounded by seats on all sides, in which sports events, contests, entertainments, etc, take place: a boxing arena
(as modifier): arena stage

the central area of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, in which gladiatorial contests and other spectacles were held
a sphere or scene of conflict or intense activity: the political arena

1620s, “place of combat,” from Latin harena “place of combat,” originally “sand, sandy place,” perhaps from Etruscan. The central stages of Roman amphitheaters were strewn with sand to soak up the blood.
The area of memory attached to a Unix process by the brk and sbrk system calls and used by malloc as dynamic storage. So named from a “malloc: corrupt arena” message emitted when some early versions detected an impossible value in the free block list.
See overrun screw, aliasing bug, memory leak, memory smash, smash the stack.
[Jargon File]


Read Also:

  • Arena theater

    a theater with seats arranged on at least three sides around a central stage.

  • Arena football

    noun an adaptation of American football to an indoor 50-yard field Examples Over one million fans attend arena football games each season. Word Origin The game was developed in 1981 by Jim Foster, who was attending an indoor soccer game. Usage Note sport

  • Arenavirus

    any of various RNA-containing viruses of the family Arenaviridae, usually transmitted to humans by contact with excreta of infected rodents. Arenavirus Ar·e·na·vi·rus (ār’ə-nə-vī’rəs, ə-rē’nə-) n. The single genus of viruses in the family Arenaviridae that includes the viruses that cause lymphocytic choriomeningitis and Lassa fever.

  • Arena theatre

    noun another term for theatre-in-the-round

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