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 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, "Longreads Best of 2020: Profiles," 17 Dec. 2020 The defining moment for this team will be a reserve defensive back playing matador on a long touchdown run in a game the Vikings probably had to win. Jim Souhan, Star Tribune, "Vikings can hang loss on Chris Jones' non-attempt at tackle on Dallas touchdown run," 22 Nov. 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, "Netflix's 'Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey' soars with diverse cast — and some flying," 12 Nov. 2020 Veteran matador Diego Urdiales had this year’s bullfighting season all planned out. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "For Spain’s Bullfights, Coronavirus Threatens Fatal Blow," 15 June 2020 Pay respect to the brave souls before you who have cut their own bangs, like a matador praying before a bullfight. Jiji Lee, The New Yorker, "How to Cut Your Bangs During a Global Crisis," 16 Apr. 2020 Both are bloodsports, but whereas a matador kills with his own sword, the falconer relies on an incredible interspecies relationship, persuading a falcon to kill smaller birds on the falconer’s behalf. Graeme Wood, WSJ, "‘The Falcon Thief’ Review: Cuckoo for Raptors," 7 Feb. 2020 The boy who, apparently, once considered becoming a bullfighter celebrated by waving a matador's cape on the pitch at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff., "Sergio Ramos: Football's Big Bad Who Has Dominated the Sport Like No Other Defender," 8 Oct. 2019 The late-game woes are no doubt a byproduct of a matador-like defense that has, so far, been the NBA’s worst in the fourth quarter, where the Blazers own a league-worst 122.8 defensive rating. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers aren’t concerned about discouraging start to NBA season. Should they be?," 14 Nov. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for matador

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The first known use of matador was in 1681

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Cite this Entry

“Matador.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for matador



English Language Learners Definition of matador

: the person who has the major part in a bullfight and who kills the bull


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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