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 gladiatorial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gladiator in a Sentence

the two punch-drunk gladiators stumbled to their corners
Recent Examples on the Web 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 Leather shoes, wooden combs, an amber carving of a gladiator’s helmet, and some 600 other Roman artifacts adorn the ground floor of Bloomberg LP’s new European headquarters in central London. Megan Gannon, Popular Science, "Archaeologists and construction workers are teaming up to unearth historic relics," 13 Apr. 2020 Emperor Marcus Aurelius responded to the deaths of so many soldiers by recruiting slaves and gladiators to the legions. Edward Watts, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Rome Learned From the Deadly Antonine Plague of 165 A.D.," 28 Apr. 2020 Little Fires Everywhere is Washington's latest television role following her successful arc as D.C. gladiator Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' steamy political drama Scandal. Ineye Komonibo,, "Little Fires Everywhere," 24 Feb. 2020 The back-and-forth gladiator fight with reporters is completely irrelevant and non-important. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "ABC's Jonathan Karl on Trump's Press Briefings: "He's Enjoying His Time in Front of the Cameras"," 9 Apr. 2020 And yet my behavior still strikes me as practical, the only way to ensure that, in life’s arena, no chink in the armor will be exposed to another gladiator’s spear. Teddy Wayne, New York Times, "Raising a Nontoxic Man," 28 Feb. 2020 Some of the best and wittiest literary gladiators have confronted President Trump in fiction. Washington Post, "Finally, a novel that captures the inanity of the Trump era. It isn’t pretty.," 21 Jan. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Gladiator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for gladiator


How to pronounce gladiator (audio)

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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