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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gladiator \Glad"i*a`tor\, n. [L., fr. gladius sword. See Glaive.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] 2. One who engages in any fierce combat or controversy. Gladiatorial