acting

noun
act·​ing | \ˈak-tiŋ \

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

Impressive editing is paired with the childlike acting and lip-synching the app and its challenges call for. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "In defense of TikTok, the joyful, slightly cringe-inducing spiritual successor to Vine," 5 Nov. 2018 For instance, Juan Pablo Di Pace used to be a professional dancer before trying his hand at acting and singing. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Alexis Ren Is Under Fire for Dancing With Maddie Ziegler Last Night," 16 Oct. 2018 Throughout his career, Redford was always a solid performer who brought a sense of sincerity as well as effortless charisma to his acting. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘The Old Man & the Gun’: Robert Redford rides off on a sweet, fitting note," 9 Oct. 2018 Not on his salary (which also includes occasional acting and modeling fees, as well as a pension from ironworking). Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Fall’s Fireman-Inspired Fashion—Critiqued by a Real Firefighter," 14 Sep. 2018 Yakuza Kiwami 2 keeps up the series’ tradition of stellar voice acting and what’s quite possibly an even better localization. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Review: Yakuza Kiwami 2 gets cleaned up for PS4," 28 Aug. 2018 Hader, like Atlanta’s Donald Glover, was nominated in the acting, writing, and directing categories this year, while Hader’s Barry co-star Henry Winkler received a supporting actor nomination. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Emmy Nominations 2018: Netflix Takes Over," 12 July 2018 Elsie Fisher had almost given up on acting when Eighth Grade came along. refinery29.com, "Eighth Grade's Elsie Fisher Shares What She Wishes People Knew About Gen Z," 11 July 2018 Some top-to-bottom stellar acting and more twists than an Auntie Anne's kiosk make This Is Us more than an extended Crock Pot joke. Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Hulu This July 4," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Markle exchanged vows with Prince Harry at a lavish Windsor Castle wedding back in May and gave up her acting career for a life of royalty. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Meghan Markle: 'Suits' ratings continue downward trend without Duchess of Sussex," 9 Aug. 2018 After Pruitt, facing ever-growing spending scandals, resigned in July, Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler became acting administrator and took up the mantle of rolling back fuel-efficiency standards. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Fuel economy standards kill people, Trump administration claims," 2 Aug. 2018 But the post is third in line at the department, so that person would become acting attorney general if the top two officials were unavailable. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Trump Administration Puts on Hold Search for Justice Department No. 3," 5 June 2018 Second-in-command Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will become acting director of the EPA come Monday, according to President Donald Trump. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "Scott Pruitt out as head of the Environmental Protection Agency," 5 July 2018 President Donald Trump, who announced Mr. Pruitt’s departure in a tweet, said Mr. Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, would become acting EPA administrator on Monday. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Embattled Scott Pruitt Resigns as EPA Administrator," 5 July 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

30 Nov 2018

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 \

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

amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!