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


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

Men less than half Jeff Goldblum’s age look to the 66-year-old actor for style inspiration. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Why Daniel Day-Lewis, at 61, Was the Best-Dressed Man of 2018," 31 Dec. 2018 The 32-year-old actor, who brought both a credible threat and comic relief to the role of T'Challa's rival M'Baku, says there was some fear in the early days of filming in 2017. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther Breakout Winston Duke Is Ready to Reset Hollywood," 4 Dec. 2018 The 71-year-old actor also slammed President Donald Trump for blaming the wildfire on poor forest management. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "Light rain falling in N California could hurt search effort," 21 Nov. 2018 The Secret Life of Pets 2 The series’ main character hasn’t changed for The Secret Life of Pets 2, but his voice actor has: Patton Oswalt has taken over for Louis C.K., who voiced the star dog in the original just two years ago. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "New trailers: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, UglyDolls, and more," 10 Nov. 2018 One large-scale for the scenes with the actors playing elves and a smaller one for Ferrell and Santa. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "How The Elf Set Designers Built Santa's Workshop Around Will Ferrell," 8 Nov. 2018 To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that KLM has already anchored itself as one of the most digitally innovative actors in the airline industry. Lindsey Tramuta, Condé Nast Traveler, "Innovators: KLM CEO Pieter Elbers on Keeping Up With the 'Big Kids'," 11 Oct. 2018 On Tuesday, the 46-year-old actor emerged for the first time since entering rehab two weeks ago. Fox News, "Ben Affleck's rumored gal pal Shauna Sexton reportedly visits star upon his return to rehab," 2 Oct. 2018 Ever since, Kourtney and 20-year-old actor Luka Sabbat have been hanging out nonstop. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Kourtney Kardashian and Luka Sabbat's Relationship," 28 Sep. 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

18 Jan 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 \

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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