glad·​i·​a·​tor | \ ˈgla-dē-ˌā-tər \

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 \ adjective

Examples of gladiator in a Sentence

the two punch-drunk gladiators stumbled to their corners

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s always that giant family with the 50-person family touch football game that looks like a gladiator movie. 10. Jason Gay, WSJ, "27 More Rules of Thanksgiving Family Touch Football," 19 Nov. 2018 Costumes were required, and guests including Paris Hilton, Carol and Earle Mack, Vanessa Getty, and Emilia and Pepe Fanjul came as gladiators, muses, and Greek gods. Marshall Heyman, Town & Country, "The New Breed of Birthday Celebration? Lavish International Parties," 30 Nov. 2018 The entire sphere of college football, from coaches through the media, need to toss aside the tired and frankly embarrassing notion that football is a sport of gladiators, that injuries are a symbol of weakness. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "It's time for college football, NCAA to embrace injury reports with gambling influence rising," 3 July 2018 The towering statue of a gladiator outside is a nod to Spartak being named after the Roman slave rebel Spartacus. James Ellingworth,, "Here is a look at all 12 World Cup stadiums in Russia," 11 June 2018 Inside the Otkritie Arena, whose primary tenant, Spartak Moscow, is named for the rebellious gladiator, sat Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrímsson. Brian Straus,, "Magnitude of Iceland's World Cup Debut vs. Argentina Not Lost on Confident Underdog," 15 June 2018 Also in my desk drawer are Christian Louboutin metallic wedges, which are my showstopper shoes, plus Halogen gladiator sandals — my summer staple. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Design Director Launching Brands for Sizes 14 and Up," 12 June 2018 Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures, a venture-capital firm based in Beijing, compares Chinese entrepreneurs to gladiators. The Economist, "The ultimate walled gardenChina has the world’s most centralised internet system," 28 June 2018 Russell Crowe won awards and acclaim for playing a defiant gladiator and a thick-skinned boxer. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, "Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe to play Fox News chief Roger Ailes," 25 June 2018

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 Celt origin; akin to Welsh cleddyf sword

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Statistics for gladiator

Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gladiator

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of gladiator

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gladiator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gladiator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gladiator

Spanish Central: Translation of gladiator

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

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