The words get used almost as synonyms in English, but are they also synonymous in Spanish?
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Yes, what Reena said :). You can keep the words straight by thinking about the etymology. "Matador" comes from "matar" (to kill). "Torear" is more like "to goad."
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A matador is the man on foot who kills the bull. This man is the central bullfighter who must kill the bull.
A toreador is a mounted bull fighter. He actively participates in the fight but does not kill the bull.
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