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Line breaks: actor
Pronunciation: /ˈaktə

Definition of actor in English:


1A person whose profession is acting on the stage, in films, or on television.
Example sentences
  • Fincher usually gets great performances from his actors, and this film was no different.
  • We tend to see film and television actors through all of their previous performances.
  • This is not uncommon in Allen's films - actors love working with him and he always gets the best out of them.
performer, player, trouper, theatrical, dramatic artist, thespian, member of the cast, artist, artiste;
Indian filmi
British informal luvvy
archaic histrionic, stager
1.1A person who behaves in a way that is not genuine: in war one must be a good actor
More example sentences
  • Certainly, there are bad actors in business, as everywhere.
  • He went back into hiding, the shrunken, self-parodying actor within the huge carcass of a body.
2A participant in an action or process: employers are key actors within industrial relations
More example sentences
  • It will identify the processes and the key actors and how can they be better understood and planned by city authorities.
  • Interaction: a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think and speak.
  • Both approaches allow little room for the role of factors that might be specific to particular actors.


late Middle English (originally denoting an agent or administrator): from Latin, 'doer, actor', from agere 'do, act'.


In the time of Shakespeare female roles were played by boys or men, and women did not appear on stage in England until after the Restoration of 1660. Female performers were then called either actors or actresses—it was only later that actor became restricted to men—and it seems that we are returning to the original situation. Although there is still an awards category at the Oscars called Best Actress, some people are again using the gender-neutral term actor for both sexes. See also -ess1 (usage).



Example sentences
  • The abbot, Dom Christopher, combines an actorish voice and looks with a kind of brain that has recently been more or less banned from television.
  • Ask a few actorish questions about creativity and motivation and he bats them back with a quip about needing the money.
  • He gives a remarkable performance, which has been criticised for being too actorish, and yet manages to make a dull man interesting, without falling back on self pity.

Definition of actor in:

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Pronunciation: pɪət
lively; cheerful