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 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 The British actor turns 61 on Friday, and his ex-wife Livia Firth is celebrating with a silly picture of him. Ale Russian,, 10 Sep. 2021 HartBeat Productions, founded by actor Kevin Hart, has already announced plans to put together a docu-series on Bishop Sycamore. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2021 Meanwhile, Matti’s next project is up in the air with his main actor running for president. Liza Foreman, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 Sandler gets a bit serious in his old pal Judd Apatow’s likable (and long) existential dramedy that proves the actor doesn’t have to shift from one extreme to the other. Ben Flanagan |, al, 9 Sep. 2021 Art Metrano, the comedian and actor, who starred as Mauser in the Police Academy films, has died. Jolie Lash,, 9 Sep. 2021 The singer-actor then welcomed his youngest child, son Zen, on June 23 with Alyssa Scott. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 9 Sep. 2021 Zayid is an actor, comedian, writer and disability advocate. USA Today, 9 Sep. 2021 Over the past few years, the actor has cultivated a look in Hollywood that’s completely his own. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near actor

act on/upon



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Statistics for actor

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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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

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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