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

Her crew: five grim gladiators in crash helmets, the new face of the America's Cup. Luke O'brien, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 1 Sep. 2013 Play off the stark lines of the dress with accessories that are bold in their restraint, like gladiator sandals, slim jewelry and a fuss-free bag devoid of excess design elements. Nicola Fumo, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Chic Looks You Can Wear to Work and on the Weekend," 18 Mar. 2019 The bold, knee-high gladiator heels offered in a range of bright colors from vibrant yellow to blue, red and black. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Karl Lagerfeld Brought Ancient Greece to Paris For Chanel's Cruise 2018 Show," 3 May 2017 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

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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gladiator

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

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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

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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

Comments on gladiator

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characterized by aphorism

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