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



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

Synonyms & Antonyms for acting

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hough’s other acting credits include Safe Haven, Paradise, Rock of Ages and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. Paul Grein, Billboard, 11 May 2022 The Ozark actor caught the attention of many when he was cast as Ben Davis in the Emmy Award-winning drama series for its third season — and since the critical acclaim that followed, the rising star's acting credits are only getting longer. Skyler Caruso,, 4 May 2022 Dwayne’s acting credits also include participating in music videos for celebrities like Taylor Swift and Method Man. Mike Rose, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 In all, Tsang had some 237 acting credits, mainly in Hong Kong film and television productions, and especially in detective and martial arts movies, according to his IMDb page. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Sami Outalbali; Dennis O’Hare, whose acting credits include The Nevers and American Horror Story; and composer Daniel Pemberton, an Oscar nominee for The Trial of the Chicago 7. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Mar. 2022 Fast forward some decades, several dance recitals, and some major acting credits later, and Barrera is back to her roots, still loving Clinique, this time as a brand ambassador. Jihan Forbes, Allure, 25 Feb. 2022 Apart from her father’s movies, Maude’s acting credits include Girls, Hollywood, Other People, and Assassination Nation. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 24 Feb. 2022 For roughly two decades, comedian David Spade’s home-improvement projects kept pace with his acting credits. E.b. Solomont, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Born in San Diego, Ward's pre-acting jobs – including three years in the Air Force and stints as a short-order cook, boxer and lumberjack – prepared for the tough-guy roles he'd be recognized for in his Hollywood career. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 Upon Jarmon's suspension, then-financial director Andy Delaney served as the housing authority's acting executive director from June to September before leaving the agency. Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Online, 7 May 2022 Monae has multiple acting credits to her name, including roles in Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Antebellum. Brooklyn White, Essence, 6 May 2022 Karol G will make her big acting debut in the upcoming Netflix program Griselda, based on the life of Colombian drug queen Griselda Blanco, with fellow Colombian Sofía Vergara playing the title role. Leila Cobo, Billboard, 28 Feb. 2022 If there were an award for most acting, these guys would rate high. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Mar. 2022 Jackie Aprile was named acting boss, much to the chagrin of Junior Soprano. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Mar. 2022 At the end of the day, Gaga delivered an outstanding acting performance in House Of Gucci. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 8 Feb. 2022 And while Judi Dench notched her eighth acting nomination, her fellow nominees for best supporting actress are all up for the very first time. David Morgan, CBS News, 8 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of acting


1590, in the meaning defined above


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acting


from gerund of act entry 2


from present participle of act entry 2

Learn More About acting

Dictionary Entries Near acting



acting area

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Statistics for acting

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Acting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for acting


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on acting

Nglish: Translation of acting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acting for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about acting


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