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 trailer shows flashes of executions, riots, and intense chariot racing and gladiator battle. Wesley Stenzel,, 13 June 2024 Forced into slavery, Maximus has to rise the gladiator arenas to get his vengeance. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 11 June 2024 The Roman Amphitheater dates back to the first century, and gladiators once fought here. Catherine Garcia, theweek, 14 Mar. 2024 The drawings — made by children around 2,000 years ago — depict gladiators and hunters, according to a May 28 news release from the Pompeii Archaeological Park. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 29 May 2024 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 22 Jun. 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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