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

Goldblum previously played the role of the conniving ruler of Sakaar who presides over the gladiator-esque Contest of Champions in Thor: Ragnarok. Lauren Huff,, "Jeff Goldblum teases potential role in Thor: Love and Thunder," 24 Aug. 2019 The song's music video interprets the lyrics in a literal sense, featuring the two fighting off their enemies in gladiator garb. Ellise Shafer, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to DJ Khaled's 'Just Us' Feat. SZA," 19 Aug. 2019 In February, the district attorney’s office dropped charges against three deputies accused of arranging gladiator-style battles between inmates after learning that the Sheriff’s Department mishandled the internal investigation. Dominic Fracassa,, "Amid a cloud of misconduct cases, SF Sheriff’s Department invites outside oversight," 12 Aug. 2019 The study discovered big cats in gladiator-style shows in large amphitheaters, dolphins being used like surfboards, elephants playing basketball and clothed chimps in diapers, driving around on scooters. Kelli Bender,, "Animal Welfare Group Names 12 Animal Venues to Avoid, Including Two SeaWorld Locations," 5 Aug. 2019 Centuries before Wade and his peers transformed the NBA tunnel, Roman gladiators paraded around the Colosseum pit flaunting purple-and-gold cloaks—or, as with second-century emperor Commodus, a lion’s pelt—before trying to slaughter one another. Alex Prewitt,, "How Athletes Are Turning Arena Entrances into Fashion Shows," 22 July 2019 The comedienne performs in her first Netflix stand-up special, recorded in D.C. July 31 Kengan Ashura: Part l (Netflix Anime) An underground gladiator fights on behalf of a business mogul who wagers deals on the outcome of these brutal matches. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Netflix list for July 2019: Everything new and expiring," 19 June 2019 Christopher Smith’s photographs are technically self-portraits, though each evokes someone else: a sullen detective, a naked gladiator, a flapper, an inmate, a sword swallower, a cowboy, a choirboy, a corpse. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "A Photographer’s Elaborate Transformations in His Childhood Bedroom," 18 July 2019 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

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

5 Sep 2019

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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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