• synonyms


[ban-duh-ree-uh, -reel-yuh; Spanish bahn-de-ree-lyah, -yah]
See more synonyms for banderilla on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ban·de·ril·las [ban-duh-ree-uh z, -reel-yuh z; Spanish bahn-de-ree-lyahs, -yahs] /ˌbæn dəˈri əz, -ˈril yəz; Spanish ˌbɑn dɛˈri lyɑs, -yɑs/.
  1. an ornamented dart with barbs used by banderilleros for sticking into the neck or shoulder of the bull.
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Origin of banderilla

1790–1800; < Spanish, equivalent to bander(a) banner + -illa diminutive suffix < Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for banderilla

Historical Examples

  • Nacional, with the banderilla in his hand, attracted the bull to the centre of the plaza.

    The Blood of the Arena

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • And the smile was as a banderilla to her niece's goaded spirit.

    New Faces

    Myra Kelly

  • These touch-and-go experiments form no part of the strict duties of the chulo; his exclusive province is the banderilla.

  • The jaunty insouciance of the young range-rider irritated him as a banderilla goads a bull in the ring.

    Steve Yeager

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Next to them are the banderilleros; and the dart adorned with many colored ribbons is called a banderilla.

British Dictionary definitions for banderilla


  1. bullfighting a decorated barbed dart, thrust into the bull's neck or shoulder
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Word Origin

Spanish, literally: a little banner, from bandera banner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012