1. a soldier, especially in the past
2. someone involved in a fight or argument
Origin and usage
The word warrior comes from the Old North French word ‘werreier’ meaning ‘a soldier’. It first appeared in English in the 14th century.
Warrior is a noun that refers to a soldier or someone who is involved in a fight. Its meaning is mainly historical – modern soldiers aren’t generally called warriors, for example.
Today, the word warrior is frequently used to describe a person who is very strong and doesn’t give up easily (‘He battled cancer like a warrior‘.) Perhaps because of this, many modern sports teams have adopted the warrior as their mascot, like American basketball’s Golden State Warriors and the Glasgow Warriors professional rugby side.
Warrior soldiers date back centuries and one of these armies still exists today.
In 1974, farmers digging a well in Xi’an, China made a strange discovery: a life-sized clay statue of an ancient warrior. They immediately notified authorities and soon a team of government archaeologists was sent to examine the site.
The archaeologists found thousands of these clay warriors, each with unique facial features and expressions, body positioning, and arranged in long trenches according to rank. Many of the soldiers held weapons, and there were even statues of horses, wooden chariots, and evidence to suggest that the grey statues were once painted in bright colours.
The amazing discovery came to be known as the Terracotta Army, part of a complex tomb built for China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, from around 221 BCE until construction was halted in 209 BCE. Emperor Qin commissioned the creation of the clay warriors so that they could accompany him to the afterlife, protecting him for all eternity.
brave, cavalryman, fighter
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.