glad·​i·​a·​tor | \ ˈgla-dē-ˌā-tər How to pronounce gladiator (audio) \

Definition of gladiator

1 : a person engaged in a fight to the death as public entertainment for ancient Romans
2 : a person engaging in a public fight or controversy
3 : a trained fighter especially : a professional boxer

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Other Words from gladiator

gladiatorial \ ˌgla-​dē-​ə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce gladiator (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gladiator in a Sentence

the two punch-drunk gladiators stumbled to their corners
Recent Examples on the Web The coolest cheering section was in the small section behind the goal used by the Hurricanes in the first and third periods, where there were cardboard cutouts of the Little Caesars gladiator. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' opener looks a lot like last season in 3-0 loss to Hurricanes," 15 Jan. 2021 Now, the Italian government has pledged €10 million (around $12 million USD) toward the installation of a new, retractable floor that will restore the amphitheater to its gladiator-era glory. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Italy Will Rebuild the Colosseum’s Floor, Restoring Arena to Its Gladiator-Era Glory," 29 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, the original Man of Steel has been kicked off the planet for some yadda-yadda or other, and is a gladiator on Warworld because … comics. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Captain Comics: DC Comics going back to the future," 26 Dec. 2020 The remains of a huge amphitheater capable of seating some 8,000 people lie southeast of the city; per Laura Cole of Geographical, ancient Britons convened at the site to watch gladiator battles and other spectacles of the day. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Roman Gaming Piece Crafted Out of Bone Found in England," 15 Sep. 2020 In this interactive, improvisational theater experience, people will have to convince several historical characters to help: Agnes of Rome, a gladiator, the apostle Paul and a senator's wife. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Guests have to work with historical figures to save an island during this interactive scavenger hunt in Colgate," 27 Aug. 2020 This gladiator deserves better, and so does his audience. Leah Greenblatt,, "Russell Crowe brings wounded gravitas to hammy, nonsensical road-rage thriller Unhinged: Review," 18 Aug. 2020 Moore also posted a solo shot of herself in Greece, wearing a white romper paired with a beige belt and gladiator sandals. Robyn Merrett,, "Kenya Moore's Daughter Brooklyn Poses with Porsha Williams' Baby Pilar in Greece: 'Best Friends'," 24 Sep. 2019 Nearly half a century in a classroom might seem like a record akin to the last gladiator left standing at the Colosseum., "With her white hair pulled back in a ponytail, Janet Fillion waded through rows of desks, periodically checking her eighth-graders’ use of the perfect tense — in Latin. At one point to help her students remember the various verb endings, she tossed aside all self-consciousness and broke into song.," 20 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gladiator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gladiator

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gladiator

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

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Time Traveler for gladiator

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gladiator

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gladiator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for gladiator



English Language Learners Definition of gladiator

: a man in ancient Rome who fought against another man or animal for public entertainment


glad·​i·​a·​tor | \ ˈgla-dē-ˌā-tər How to pronounce gladiator (audio) \

Kids Definition of gladiator

: a man in ancient Rome who took part in fights as public entertainment

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