glad·​i·​a·​tor ˈgla-dē-ˌā-tər How to pronounce gladiator (audio)
: a person engaged in a fight to the death as public entertainment for ancient Romans
: a person engaging in a public fight or controversy
: a trained fighter
especially : a professional boxer
gladiatorial adjective

Examples of gladiator in a Sentence

the two punch-drunk gladiators stumbled to their corners
Recent Examples on the Web The next iteration of Black Twitter is up to the internet gladiators to decide. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2024 And on the red carpet, Willis’ co-star Milla Jovovich turned heads with her barely there loincloth dress and gladiator heels. Shannon L. Bowen, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 See all Example Sentences for gladiator 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gladiator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from gladius sword, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh cleddyf sword

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gladiator was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near gladiator

Cite this Entry

“Gladiator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


glad·​i·​a·​tor ˈglad-ē-ˌāt-ər How to pronounce gladiator (audio)
: a person engaged in a fight to the death for public entertainment in ancient Rome
: a person engaging in a fierce fight or controversy
gladiatorial adjective

from Latin gladiator, literally, "swordsman," from gladius "sword" — related to gladiolus

More from Merriam-Webster on gladiator

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