Definition of matador in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmadəˌdôr/


1A bullfighter whose task is to kill the bull.
Example sentences
  • During the three-hour spectacle, we watched three matadors kill six bulls.
  • Then the first of three banderilleros (usually older bullfighters who form part of the matador's team) individually run towards the bull making him charge.
  • When the matador realises the bull is weak and unable to charge much longer he will reach for his killing sword and seek to manoeuvre it directly in front of him with its head down, so that he can administer the death stroke.
2(In ombre, skat, and other card games) any of the highest trumps.
Example sentences
  • In game contracts, the obligation to follow suit does not apply fully to the matadors (the spadille, manille and basta).
  • Note that for the purposes of matadors, cards in the skat count as part of declarer's hand, even though in a Hand game declarer does not know what is in the skat when choosing the game.
3A domino game in which halves are matched so as to make a total of seven.
Example sentences
  • These stones must be played according to the rules of matador; the game is then continued following the rules of ordinary dominoes.
3.1Any of the dominoes that have seven spots altogether, together with the double blank.
Example sentences
  • These doubles or matadors are not placed crosswise.
  • After the four matadors have been placed the next stone added to each arm must be the appropriate double (matching according to matador rules).


Spanish, literally 'killer', from matar 'to kill', from Persian māt 'dead'; senses relating to games are extended uses, expressing a notion of dominance or control.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mat·a·dor

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