Simple Definition of role
: the character played by an actor
: a part that someone or something has in a particular activity or situation
: the part that someone has in a family, society, or other group
Full Definition of role
1 a (1) : a character assigned or assumed <had to take on the role of both father and mother> (2) : a socially expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society b : a part played by an actor or singer
2 : a function or part performed especially in a particular operation or process <played a major role in the negotiations>
Examples of role in a sentence
He plays the role of the villain.
She was given the starring role.
I had a minor role in the play.
After her husband left her, she had to take on the dual role of mother and father for her children.
She likes to play the role of matchmaker with her friends.
She challenged the traditional roles assigned to women.
We'll switch roles this time, and you can wash the dishes while I dry them.
It was a case of role reversal: the father stayed home with the children while the mother worked.
Variants of role
Origin of role
French rôle, literally, roll, from Old French rolle
First Known Use: 1605
ROLE Defined for Kids
Definition of role for Students
1 : a character assigned or taken on <Switching roles, the children cared for their mother.>
2 : a part played by an actor or singer
3 : 1function 1 <Anyone who volunteers for a special role on the trip gets extra credit … — Ann M. Martin, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation>
Medical Definition of role
: a socially prescribed pattern of behavior usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society
Learn More about role
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up role? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).