a. An enclosed area for the presentation of sports events and spectacles.
b. A building housing such an area.
2. A place or scene where forces contend or events unfold: withdrew from the political arena; the world as an arena of moral conflict.
3. The area in the center of an ancient Roman amphitheater where contests and other spectacles were held.
[Latin harēna, arēna, sand, a sand-strewn place of combat in an amphitheater; akin to Sabine fasēna, sand, perhaps ultimately of Etruscan origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.