gladiator

[glad-ee-ey-ter]
noun
1.
(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.
2.
a person who engages in a fight or controversy.
3.
a prizefighter.

Origin:
1535–45; < Latin gladiātor, equivalent to gladi(us) sword + -ātor -ator

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World English Dictionary
gladiator (ˈɡlædɪˌeɪtə)
 
n
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]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gladiator
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
Then the emperor's favorite lion is killed, leading to an investigation of the gladiators.
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