ac·​tor | \ ˈak-tər How to pronounce actor (audio) also -ˌtȯr \

Definition of actor

1 : one that acts : doer
2a : one who acts in a play, movie, television show, etc.
b : one who behaves as if acting a part
3 : one that takes part in any affair : participant political actors

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Other Words from actor

actorish \ ˈak-​tə-​rish How to pronounce actor (audio) \ adjective
actorly \ ˈak-​tər-​lē How to pronounce actor (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for actor



  • nonactor
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Examples of actor in a Sentence

my sister went to drama school to become an actor Benjamin Franklin was a major actor in many of the events leading up to the founding of our nation.
Recent Examples on the Web Federal authorities on Tuesday arrested a Los Angeles film and television actor accused of running a $227 million Ponzi scheme that promised non-existent film rights to investors. NBC News, "Actor ran $227 million Hollywood Ponzi scheme, feds say," 7 Apr. 2021 The drama finds a once brilliant playwright -- who no longer writes -- returning to her craft when her famous stage actor twin brother is diagnosed with leukemia. John Benson, cleveland, "‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ and ‘Looking For a Lady With Fangs and a Moustache’ top this week’s streaming movies at Cleveland Cinemas and Cinematheque," 7 Apr. 2021 Chicago actor-singer Ingersoll pays tribute to Garland with music and humor. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Repertory Theater plans to open next season Oct. 29 with full audiences," 7 Apr. 2021 Starting around 2014, the SEC said, the actor began luring investors to 1inMM Capital by promising swift returns of 35 to 45 percent. Washington Post, "A Hollywood actor starred in low-budget sci-fi films. On the side, he ran a $227 million Ponzi scheme, feds say.," 7 Apr. 2021 According to Elliott's rep Peter Varano, the actor died over the weekend. Elise Brisco, USA TODAY, "Mark Elliott, longtime Disney trailer voice actor, dies at 81," 7 Apr. 2021 Amid his social media spat with NBA star Kevin Durant, actor Michael Rapaport found time to sell his Hancock Park home for $3.57 million. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Michael Rapaport’s Hancock Park home sells for $3.57 million," 7 Apr. 2021 The Suicide Squad actor recalled jokingly telling Baldwin. Eric Todisco,, "Pete Davidson Admits He Lied About Exercise Tips That Actually Helped Alec Baldwin Lose Weight," 7 Apr. 2021 The actor and entrepreneur has just become the new global brand ambassador for Biossance, which just so happens to make her favorite face oil. Marci Robin, Allure, "Reese Witherspoon Is Clean Beauty's Newest Crusader," 7 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actor.' 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 actor

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for actor

Middle English actour "doer, pleader," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin āctor, from agere "to drive (cattle), cause to move, do" + -tor, agent suffix — more at agent

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Time Traveler for actor

Time Traveler

The first known use of actor was in the 15th century

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Statistics for actor

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for actor



English Language Learners Definition of actor

: a person who acts in a play, movie, etc.


ac·​tor | \ ˈak-tər How to pronounce actor (audio) \

Kids Definition of actor

: a person who acts especially in a play or movie

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