[ ban-duh-ree-uh, -reel-yuh; Spanish bahn-de-ree-lyah, -yah ]
/ ˌbæn dəˈri ə, -ˈril yə; Spanish ˌbɑn dɛˈri lyɑ, -yɑ /

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/.

an ornamented dart with barbs used by banderilleros for sticking into the neck or shoulder of the bull.

Origin of banderilla

1790–1800; < Spanish, equivalent to bander(a) banner + -illa diminutive suffix < Latin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banderilla

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

    The Blood of the Arena|Vicente Blasco Ibez

British Dictionary definitions for banderilla


/ (ˌbændəˈriːə, -ˈriːljə) /


bullfighting a decorated barbed dart, thrust into the bull's neck or shoulder

Word Origin for banderilla

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