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 primary signature logo is designed to evoke the shape of a gladiator’s mask, drawing inspiration from the warrior mentality that drives competitors like Mahomes. Jeff Fedotin, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 In photos and videos, Entrekin could be seen wearing a gladiator costume that had the appearance of black leather. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, 16 July 2021 Washington's gladiator costars also LOL'd at the post. Jolie Lash,, 15 July 2021 Ciara later opted for a more casual vibe in a millennial pink, Gucci jersey t-shirt dress, showing off her legs in some matching pink gladiator stilettos. Glenn Garner,, 3 July 2021 Holmes paired the dress with black gladiator sandals (it’s the 2010s, again!) and a white bag., 30 June 2021 Going back to 523 A.D., the year in which records indicate that the last gladiator show took place, spectators were never able to enter the hypogea. Kristen Bateman, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 June 2021 His son, Titus, inaugurated the Colosseum with 100 days of games, which included mock naval battles, execution of animals, and gladiator combat. Hada Messia, CNN, 25 June 2021 Director Taika Waititi stood beside Hemsworth in the grayscale snap, dressed in full gladiator garb as his character, Korg. Katie Campione,, 1 June 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gladiator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on gladiator

Nglish: Translation of gladiator for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about gladiator


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