ac·​tor | \ˈak-tər 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 \ -​tə-​rish \ adjective
actorly \ -​tər-​lē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for actor


partaker, participant, participator, party, player, sharer



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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

For his lead actor, playing a character written by a 27-year-old guy wasn’t nearly as weird as working with someone who is 6 ft. 3 in. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "How Bo Burnham Turns Anxiety Into a Work of Art," 12 July 2018 Lonely Whale, a foundation co-founded by the actor Adrian Grenier, has a (slightly hilarious) YouTube video showing an octopus slapping straws from the mouths of luminaries, including model Brooklyn Decker and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Caille Millner,, "A splash of cold water on straw-ban fervor: Many people with disabilities need them," 13 July 2018 The video shows Hailey Baldwin's dad, actor Stephen Baldwin, introducing Bieber to his daughter for the very first time. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin's Old Tweets To Justin Bieber Have Resurfaced and They Are So Relatable," 10 July 2018 That's seven nominations — more than any other actor. Rebecca Farley,, "Game Of Thrones Quietly Broke An Emmy Record Yesterday," 13 July 2018 The project also lost actors Stephen Baldwin (father of Hailey Baldwin, a.k.a. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Pro-Life ‘Roe v. Wade’ Movie Sounds Like a Total Disaster," 13 July 2018 Johnson said Hollywood has excluded characters and actors with disabilities for too long. Washington Post, "‘The Rock’ joining group that champions rights for disabled," 13 July 2018 Spammers, bot networks, trolls, and hostile actors will continue adapting and creating new accounts. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018 Japanese voice actor Yuuki Kaji, who plays the protagonist Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan, attended the L.A. convention and seemed thrilled about the collaboration. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "X JAPAN & HYDE Join Forces for 'Attack on Titan' Anime Series Opener, 'Red Swan'," 13 July 2018

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

8 Nov 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of actor

: a person who acts especially in a play or movie

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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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