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

Synonyms & Antonyms for actor



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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 The actor took the time to answer some of the most popular questions about him as suggested by Google. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Elijah Wood answers the most popular Google questions posted about him," 12 Feb. 2020 In January 2019, the actor claimed two men, who were allegedly wearing Make America Great Again hats, beat him up one night and wrapped a noose around his neck. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Jussie Smollett indicted by special prosecutor over hoax hate crime," 11 Feb. 2020 No one seemed more surprised Monday evening that Kevin Costner was in town to stump for presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg than the actor himself. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Kevin Costner supports Buttigieg because he heard something but not like in 'Field of Dreams'," 11 Feb. 2020 The actor made a joke comparing Brad Pitt and Colin Jost's bodies. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Tom Hanks Shocked Everyone When He Threw Out a Public 'Insult' at the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 Few categories were more certain coming into Sunday's Oscars than best supporting actor, which Pitt has had locked down all awards season. Jake Coyle, Houston Chronicle, "Joaquin Phoenix wins the best actor Academy Award," 9 Feb. 2020 And his look at the 2020 Oscars, complete with gilded feathers just like his 2019 Met Gala bodysuit, falls right in line with the actor's eccentric tastes. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Billy Porter's Oscars Look Is One Big Ode to the Roaring ‘20s," 9 Feb. 2020 That show was nominated for six Emmys and won two, including best supporting actor for Meredith. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Report: A big-screen biography of Joseph McCarthy is in the works," 6 Feb. 2020 Back in the day, A-list actors didn't even use personal stylists. Glamour, "The 47 Best Oscars Red-Carpet Dresses of All Time," 5 Feb. 2020

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for actor


How to pronounce actor (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on actor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for actor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with actor

Spanish Central: Translation of actor

Nglish: Translation of actor for Spanish Speakers

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

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