Definition of understudy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈəndərˌstədē/

noun (plural understudies)

(In the theater) a person who learns another’s role in order to be able to act as a replacement at short notice.
Example sentences
  • We should've just gotten an understudy for her role!
  • They don't have an understudy to take that role right now.
  • I was his understudy for a few years and I tried to learn as much as I could from him.
stand-in, substitute, replacement, reserve, fill-in, locum, proxy, backup, relief, standby, stopgap
informal sub, pinch-hitter

verb (understudies, understudying, understudied)

[with object]
Learn (a role) or the role played by (an actor): he had to understudy Prospero
More example sentences
  • Amy played Christine in the Millennium tour of Phantom, when she was understudying the role.
  • Brian said: ‘It puts her in a good place for understudying the lead roles and if things work out well she could find herself going on for a principal before too long.’
  • He will understudy his successor who has an important role behind the scenes on the tour.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·der·stud·y

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