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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for acting

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective

long-term, permanent

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The year before, Isabella and her mother went on the Today show, and discussed her post-college acting plans. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Lori Loughlin and Her Husband Mossimo Giannulli Became Involved in the College Admissions Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 Humans can easily develop tunnel vision or become distracted in combat, and an AI acting as a third set of eyes is a hedge against the soldiers missing something critical to their own survival. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Crazy Ad for an Israeli Future Tank Is Something Else," 12 Mar. 2019 Models also occasionally get cast for small roles in commercials and TV shows, so acting is a great skill to have to pick up more money. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Model?," 17 July 2018 The stage provides a picture-perfect frame as the sun sinks over the White River (don’t forget your sunglasses!), and the stellar acting is just a bonus. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 The acting is superb, the cinematography is arresting, and the dystopian story is haunting, timely, and well told. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "A well-timed ‘Handmaid’s’ hiatus," 9 July 2018 The acting is more natural than typical superhero dramas. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Marvel's Cloak and Dagger' is exactly what a superhero TV show should be," 6 June 2018 The acting is fantastic, especially the character of Queen Elizabeth II, who is portrayed by Claire Foy. The Christian Science Monitor, "What are you watching? Readers recommend 'Big Little Lies,' 'The Americans'," 1 June 2018 The quality of film acting has never been higher, and there is still a craft in scriptwriting and directing that makes one regularly bow in awe. Stephen Metcalf, The New Yorker, "How Superheroes Made Movie Stars Expendable," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The acting role is time-limited, with a 210-day deadline for the president to submit a nomination. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Rosenstein Succession Process Could Face Legal Hurdles," 24 Sep. 2018 That is what happened on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of President Trump’s inauguration, when Attorney General Loretta Lynch resigned and the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, became acting attorney general. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Legal Spat Swells Over Naming Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General," 10 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.

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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

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Statistics for acting

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acting

The first known use of acting was in 1590

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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.

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