mat·​a·​dor | \ ˈma-tə-ˌdȯr How to pronounce matador (audio) \

Definition of matador

: a bullfighter who has the principal role and who kills the bull in a bullfight

Examples of matador in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even before marrying Manolete’s father, she was widowed by a different matador husband. New York Times, 3 May 2022 The transitions from light to dark in the matador’s face and stockings, for instance, is abrupt to the point of coarseness. Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2022 The matador seemed to be allowing for a beat of anticipation before the kill. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Observe the sash, stretched and pleated across the matador’s waist. Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2022 Tevaughn Campbell did a Hemingwayian matador whiff. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Dec. 2021 Leibovitz had planned to shoot Penélope Cruz and Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez, the great-grandson of the famous matador who’d inspired the character of the bullfighter in the Hemingway novel. New York Times, 4 Nov. 2021 On 26 April 1976, after suffering a stroke that robbed him of the ability to walk and speak, the matador Sidney Franklin died in a nursing home in Manhattan, roughly thirteen miles from his native Brooklyn. Krista Stevens, Longreads, 17 Dec. 2020 Martin lends his velvety chops to the manipulative matador doll, Don Juan Diego, who convinces apprentice Gustafston (Key) to steal the toymaker’s book of inventions. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'matador.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of matador

1681, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for matador

Spanish, from matar to kill

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The first known use of matador was in 1681

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Matador.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for matador


mat·​a·​dor | \ ˈma-tə-ˌdȯr How to pronounce matador (audio) \

Kids Definition of matador

: a bullfighter who plays the most important human part in a bullfight

More from Merriam-Webster on matador

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


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