mat·​a·​dor ˈma-tə-ˌdȯr How to pronounce matador (audio)
: 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 Sassoon was a matador in kitten heels, baiting Bankman-Fried before driving her sword through his shoulders. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, 31 Oct. 2023 Alas, Spanish matador Barbie used a red — not pink — cape. Shelly Tan, Washington Post, 20 July 2023 If the matador doesn’t make a clean kill, and causes undue suffering, fans have been known to boo in response, and sometimes even beat the matador in the street. Chris Vognar, Chron, 17 May 2023 Love Bailey performs three original songs alongside her male dancers in erotic matador costumes. Lina Abascal, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2023 In Luhya bullfighting, there’s no matador. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 For the finale, Tangana popped open a bottle of bubbly and was triumphantly carried on the shoulders of his colleagues down the runway like a grinning matador. Nuria Net, Rolling Stone, 6 Mar. 2022 A week into September is not the time to get sleepy on the bases and play first base like a matador. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 7 Sep. 2021 Friday’s matador display came only 24 hours after Golden State surrendered 141 points on 60.2% shooting (50% from 3-point range) to a sub-.500 Sacramento team. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'matador.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish, from matar to kill

First Known Use

1681, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of matador was in 1681

Dictionary Entries Near matador

Cite this Entry

“Matador.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mat·​a·​dor ˈmat-ə-ˌdȯ(ə)r How to pronounce matador (audio)
: the bullfighter who plays the major human part in a bullfight

Spanish, literally "killer"

More from Merriam-Webster on matador

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