What does gladiator mean?

Definitions for gladiatorˈglæd iˌeɪ tər

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word gladiator.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. gladiator(noun)

    (ancient Rome) a professional combatant or a captive who entertained the public by engaging in mortal combat

  2. prizefighter, gladiator(noun)

    a professional boxer


  1. gladiator(Noun)

    (in ancient Rome) a person (professional or slave) who entertained the public by engaging in mortal combat with another, or with a wild animal

  2. gladiator(Noun)

    a disputant in a public controversy or debate

  3. gladiator(Noun)

    a professional boxer

  4. Origin: From gladiator, from gladius.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gladiator(noun)

    originally, a swordplayer; hence, one who fought with weapons in public, either on the occasion of a funeral ceremony, or in the arena, for public amusement

  2. Gladiator(noun)

    one who engages in any fierce combat or controversy

  3. Origin: [L., fr. gladius sword. See Glaive.]


  1. Gladiator

    A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death. Irrespective of their origin, gladiators offered spectators an example of Rome's martial ethics and, in fighting or dying well, they could inspire admiration and popular acclaim. They were celebrated in high and low art, and their value as entertainers was commemorated in precious and commonplace objects throughout the Roman world. The origin of gladiatorial combat is open to debate. There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BCE, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world. Its popularity led to its use in ever more lavish and costly games. The games reached their peak between the 1st century BCE and the 2nd century CE, and they finally declined during the early 5th century after the adoption of Christianity as state church of the Roman Empire in 380, although beast hunts continued into the 6th century.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Gladiator

    glad′i-ā-tor, n. in ancient Rome, a professional combatant with men or beasts in the arena.—adjs. Glad′iāte, sword-shaped; Gladiatō′rial, Gladiā′tory, Gladiatō′rian.—ns. Glad′iatorship; Glā′dius, the cuttle-bone or pen of a cuttle-fish. [L., a swordsman—gladius, a sword.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Gladiator

    one who fought in the arena at Rome with men or beasts for the amusement of the people, originally in connection with funeral games, under the belief, it is said, that the spirits of the dead were appeased at the sight of blood; exhibitions of the kind were common under the emperors, and held on high occasions; if the gladiator was wounded in the contest, the spectators decided whether he was to live or die by, in the former case, turning their thumbs downwards, and in the latter turning them upwards.

Suggested Resources

  1. gladiator

    Song lyrics by gladiator -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by gladiator on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gladiator in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gladiator in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Armstrong Williams:

    The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know. ... And I'm certainly not going to get into that.

Images & Illustrations of gladiator

  1. gladiatorgladiatorgladiator

Translations for gladiator

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for gladiator »


Find a translation for the gladiator definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these gladiator definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"gladiator." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/gladiator>.

Are we missing a good definition for gladiator? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for gladiator:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.