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

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for actor


impersonator, mummer, player, thesp, thespian, trouper



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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

Woody Allen has landed an esteemed crop of actors to headline his next movie. Joey Nolfi,, "Christoph Waltz, Gina Gershon to star in new Woody Allen Spain-set movie," 4 June 2019 Hodos, who works all over Florida and is best known here as a musical theater actor, is alluringly commanding as Veronica. Christine Dolen,, "Review: ‘Veronica’s Position’ sparkles like fine cubic zirconia at Island City Stage," 3 June 2019 The play has a blind character, Sydney Ardsley, played here by a blind actor, Israel Antonio. Chris Jones,, "Griffin Theatre's 'For Services Rendered' is like 'Downton Abbey,' about the wrenching change of the Great War," 3 June 2019 Although a few of the original actors are still around, including Sean Murray who plays Timothy McGee, there was a huge cast shakeup after season 15. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Wait, What Does 'NCIS' Stand For?," 30 May 2019 Just about every Game of Thrones actor has indicated how stressful and draining the last season was. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kit Harington Has Reportedly Been in a Wellness Facility Since Before the 'Game of Thrones' Finale," 29 May 2019 Some of the other decoy actors in Seville were Vladimir Furdik, who played the Night King (who perished three episodes before the finale) and Kit Harington, A.K.A Jon Snow, who doesn't even appear in this scene. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jaqen H'ghar and The Waif Filmed a Fake Game of Thrones Finale Scene," 28 May 2019 But few had the reaction of actor Matt Smith, who played the Queen's husband for two seasons on the Netflix series The Crown, which centers around Elizabeth II's early reign. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Crown Star Matt Smith Has Some Surprising Thoughts on Prince Philip's Car Accident," 22 May 2019 Monday’s announcement from the network caps months of speculation following the arrest of actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of faking a hate crime. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Fox’s ‘Empire’ Will End After Season 6," 13 May 2019

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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Statistics for actor

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for actor

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on actor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with actor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on actor

What made you want to look up actor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

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