acting

noun
act·​ing | \ ˈak-tiŋ How to pronounce acting (audio) \

Definition of acting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the art or practice of representing a character on a stage or before cameras

acting

adjective

Definition of acting (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : holding a temporary rank or position : performing services temporarily acting president
2a : suitable for stage performance an acting play
b : prepared with directions for actors an acting text of a play

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for acting

Synonyms: Adjective

ad interim, interim, provisional, provisionary, provisory, temporary

Antonyms: Adjective

long-term, permanent

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of acting in a Sentence

Noun

Her acting is unusually good in this film. a new style of acting

Adjective

The college's acting president will be replaced with a permanent one next fall. will serve as acting president of the university until a permanent replacement can be found
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But where Tyra really made her bank (get it?) was her acting work. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Tyra Banks' Net Worth?," 10 May 2019 Diana also has other talents besides modeling and acting. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Facts About Diana Silvers That Might Make Her Your Newest Obsession," 7 May 2019 Jesse Panuccio, who submitted his resignation letter this week, has been the acting associate attorney general for more than a year as the department struggled to fill the position. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "No. 3 at Justice Department Leaving Post Administration Has Struggled to Fill," 27 Apr. 2019 The show earned six Tonys including best choreography, best acting, and best musical in 1959. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The True Story of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon's Relationship," 17 Apr. 2019 But her acting chops are not the only part of her involvement with the film getting praise, though. Glamour, "We Need to Talk About Lupita Nyong'o's Us Promo Looks," 28 Mar. 2019 The agency's acting administrator, Daniel K. Elwell, said: The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Pilot of Doomed Ethiopian Airlines Flight Reported Control Problems Shortly After Takeoff," 13 Mar. 2019 Along with new acting and production opportunities, the 44-year-old is looking forward to spending more time with her wife and children. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "A Rare Look at 'The Talk' Creator Sara Gilbert's Life with Her Wife Linda Perry and Their Three Kids," 10 Apr. 2019 The vice president, in this view, would serve as a kind of acting president. Robert W. Merry, WSJ, "‘Accidental Presidents’ Review: Suddenly In Charge," 10 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

His very first acting gig was a guest appearance on the reboot of 90210 back in 2008, according to IMDB. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Paris Hilton's Former Fiancé Chris Zylka," 19 Nov. 2018 Another pointed out that Mexicans weren’t exactly known for their acting skills either. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Neymar 'Deserves an Oscar': Twitter Mocks Brazilian Soccer Star's Reaction to Ankle Injury," 3 July 2018 Octavia Spencer, Daniel Kaluuya, Denzel Washington and Mary J. Blige all received acting nominations, with Blige snagging another for Original Song. Eliza Berman, Time, "Today's Oscar Nominations Prove the Academy Can Still Surprise Us — in a Good Way," 23 Jan. 2018 Celebrity kids have been known to follow in the footsteps of their famous parents and enter the acting world. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's 21-Year-Old Son Is Now a Professional Wrestler," 28 Feb. 2019 American Horror Story: Hotel In her first major acting role, Gaga starred as The Countess on American Horror Story’s fifth season, Hotel, in 2015. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "7 Times Lady Gaga Proved She Could Act Before A Star Is Born," 23 Jan. 2019 His motion says a different statute, the Attorney General Succession Act, specifies that Mr. Rosenstein should become acting attorney general. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Lawyer Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Matthew Whitaker’s Role as Acting Attorney General," 16 Nov. 2018 After Pruitt resigned amid investigations into his spending at the agency, former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler became acting administrator. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Eleven researchers publish sharp critique of EPA fuel economy logic," 9 Dec. 2018 Even shows like Drag Race still operate with certain ideas of what constitutes praiseworthy drag, and their acting challenges often rely on clichéd caricatures of histrionic women using their sexuality and feminine wiles to catfight one another. Daniel Villarreal, Vox, "Drag queens are more political than ever. Can they lead a movement?," 5 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acting.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of acting

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acting

Noun

from gerund of act entry 2

Adjective

from present participle of act entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acting

Statistics for acting

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acting

The first known use of acting was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for acting

acting

noun

English Language Learners Definition of acting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the art or profession of performing the role of a character in a play, movie, etc. : the art or profession of an actor

acting

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of acting (Entry 2 of 2)

: performing a job for a short time : holding a temporary position

acting

adjective
act·​ing | \ ˈak-tiŋ How to pronounce acting (audio) \

Kids Definition of acting

: serving for a short time only or in place of another Teachers met with the acting principal.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on acting

What made you want to look up acting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!