(in ancient Rome) a person, often a slave or captive, who was armed with a sword or other weapon and compelled to fight to the death in a public arena against another person or a wild animal, for the entertainment of the spectators.
a person who engages in a fight or controversy.
a prizefighter.

1535–45; < Latin gladiātor, equivalent to gladi(us) sword + -ātor -ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gladiator (ˈɡlædɪˌeɪtə)
1.  (in ancient Rome and Etruria) a man trained to fight in arenas to provide entertainment
2.  a person who supports and fights publicly for a cause
[C16: from Latin: swordsman, from gladius sword]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. gladiator, lit. "swordsman," from gladius "sword," supposedly from Gaul. *kladyos (cf. O.Ir. claideb, Welsh cleddyf, Breton kleze "sword"), from PIE base *qelad- "to strike, beat."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
At gladiator school neither safety, health as such, or mental well-being was
  much of a consideration.
The gladiator having entered the lists is seeking advice.
When a gladiator was vanquished it rested with the spectators to decide whether
  he should be slain or not.
Few of us would consider it morally acceptable to go to a gladiator fight or a
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