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act·​ing ˈak-tiŋ How to pronounce acting (audio)
: the art or practice of representing a character on a stage or before cameras


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

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
Her screen acting debut came in 1950s The Goldbergs, and her breakthrough role quickly followed. Shania Russell,, 1 Apr. 2024 Outside of acting, Zendaya is co-chairing the 2024 Met Gala with Chris Hemsworth, Bad Bunny and Jennifer Lopez. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 29 Mar. 2024 When a leg injury forced him to sit out one high school basketball season, Gossett developed an interest in acting, and his English teacher recommended him to the producers of the 1953 Broadway show Take a Giant Step. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2024 His powerful acting is backed in the new film by a cast that includes Amit Sial, Rajesh Khera, Brajesh Jha, Mrinal Dutt, and Ankita Lokhande. Sweta Kaushal, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 The acting is terrific, the visuals still pop 40 years later, but the not-so-secret sauce is really Aykroyd and Ramis' script, one full of memorable lines that finds a brilliant balance between supernatural shenanigans and thoughtful spirituality. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 The acting is bluff and hearty, but the real stars are the sunflowers. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 19 Mar. 2024 In it, the actor wore a 1964 t-shirt with a photo of himself in his early acting days. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 18 Mar. 2024 Of course, The Color Purple movie musical cleaned up with a staggering 12 wins, including outstanding motion picture, outstanding soundtrack/compilation album and four individual acting awards. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 18 Mar. 2024
Kardashian’s leading role in the 12th season marks the most prominent acting role to date for the reality star. Anna Tingley, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 The 37-year-old breakout, who, for her turn as Mollie in Martin Scorsese’s drama, became the first Indigenous American to be nominated for an acting Oscar, was profiled by The New Yorker on Feb. 4. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 His first acting role was in Benny and Josh Safdie's 2014 feature Heaven Knows What. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 28 Feb. 2024 Help from old laws Su remains in an acting role because of an unusual law passed in 1946 and amended in 1986. David Lightman, Sacramento Bee, 28 Feb. 2024 Even among the regular cast, a stiff yet exuberant acting style prevails. Alison Herman, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 Among the acting nods for Killers of the Flower Moon include one for Lily Gladstone in the Best Actress category, and veteran Robert De Niro, who is up for Best Supporting Actor. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 23 Jan. 2024 At the 2023 Oscars, Everything Everywhere All at Once won best picture as well as acting nods for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis; and writing and directing Oscars for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Jan. 2024 Maggie Smith Dame Maggie Smith has the second-most acting wins of any actress. Wesley Stenzel,, 14 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



from gerund of act entry 2


from present participle of act entry 2

First Known Use


1590, in the meaning defined above


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of acting was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near acting

Cite this Entry

“Acting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: serving temporarily or in place of another
acting president

More from Merriam-Webster on acting

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