[pik-uh-dawr; Spanish pee-kah-th awr]
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noun, plural pi·ca·dors, Spanish pi·ca·do·res [pee-kah-th aw-res] /ˌpi kɑˈðɔ rɛs/.
  1. one of the mounted assistants to a matador, who opens the bullfight by enraging the bull and weakening its shoulder muscles with a lance.

Origin of picador

1790–1800; < Spanish: literally, pricker, equivalent to pic(ar) to prick (see pique1) + -ador < Latin -ātor -ator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for picador


  1. bullfighting a horseman who pricks the bull with a lance in the early stages of a fight to goad and weaken it

Word Origin for picador

C18: from Spanish, literally: pricker, from picar to prick; see pique 1
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

Word Origin and History for picador

1797, from Spanish picador, literally "pricker," from picar "to pierce," from Vulgar Latin *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (n.2)). He pricks the bull with a lance to provoke it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper