American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A horseman in a bullfight who lances the bull's neck muscles so that it will tend to keep its head low for the later stages of the fight.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In bull-fighting, one of the horsemen armed with a lance who commence the combat in the arena by pricking the bull to madness with their weapons, but purposely avoid disabling him. The horse of the picador is often disemboweled by the bull; the man has armor for the legs, as much to keep them from being crushed by the weight of the horse falling on them as to protect them against the bull.
- n. bullfighting A lancer mounted on horseback who assists a matador.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A horseman armed with a lance, who in a bullfight receives the first attack of the bull, and excites him by picking him without attempting to kill him.
- n. the horseman who pricks the bull with a lance early in the bullfight to goad the bull and to make it keep its head low
- Spanish picador ("stinger") (Wiktionary)
- Spanish, from picar, to prick; see picaro. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“While the picador is relatively safe, not so the horse, because the bull sometimes hooks a horn up under the blanket to endanger the unprotected underbelly.”
“Not quite so," said I. "The lance of the picador is to keep the bull from goring the horse.”
“The horse on which the picador is mounted is bought only to be killed.”
“There was funding for a lance-wielding horseman - or 'picador' - but only on one of the two days.”
“The bull charged, and of course the horse knew nothing till the picador failed and the horse found himself impaled on the bull's horns from beneath.”
“It lifted the horse clear into the air; and as the horse fell to its side on on the ground the picador landed on his feet and escaped, while the capadors lured the bull away.”
“Labour's ex-future leader was there to show Miliband how to do opposition while the chancellor braced himself to play the smirking picador to Balls's raging bull.”
“And then there was the notable exception of Picasso who, sui generis, seemed more a disembodied spirit of creative freedom and not just the matador shagging the pulchritudinous Dora and playing the picador to the imperious bullshit artist Sartre.”
“India was determined not to become a blind bull to his picador.”
“Juan, who went by El Pescador, fought for fifteen years, first as a picador, then in ferias in the south, then in the bloodless fights for the cruise ship tourists in Baja, before retiring to the guava orchards of Ronda.”
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