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

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 On Thursday, the singer and actor spoke with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about the unsettling parallels between the bestselling anthology and the current state of politics in the US. CNN, 13 May 2022 Alan Ritchson, the extremely tall actor currently starring as Jack Reacher on Amazon's Reacher. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 13 May 2022 Davy used it on practically every actor in season two, to the point where samples kept mysteriously disappearing from the makeup trailer. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 13 May 2022 She’s not a scientist, and she’s not an actor, either. James Sullivan,, 13 May 2022 Until about five years ago, this wasn’t the way the singer, actor and songwriting legend was accustomed to spending his Monday mornings. Jeff Gage, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 In new footage of Ezra Miller's arrest in Hawaii in March, the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore actor can be seen and heard arguing with police while being taken into custody for disorderly conduct. Christian Holub,, 12 May 2022 For Telemundo, among the other priorities for the coming season are narrative dramas built around biopics of two Mexican entertainment giants: singer Vicente Fernández (who died in December at age 81) and the late actor María Félix. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 12 May 2022 The Don't Worry Darling director and actor also both wore sunglasses. Jen Juneau,, 12 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near actor

act on/upon



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Statistics for actor

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for actor


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

Kids Definition of actor

: a person who acts especially in a play or movie

More from Merriam-Webster on actor

Nglish: Translation of actor for Spanish Speakers

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


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