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 actorish (audio) \ adjective
actorly \ ˈak-​tər-​lē How to pronounce actorly (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 My oldest brother is a professional theater actor in Houston. Ben Flanagan |, al, "‘Without your help, we’re history’: Alabama, Lyric Theatres in dire need of financial support," 9 Sep. 2020 The actor’s dispatches from the lockdown were a mix of humor and exasperation. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Quarantine Famous: The New Stars of Fall," 8 Sep. 2020 The actor is nonetheless extremely versatile, having portrayed everyone from Truman Capote to Alfred Hitchcock. Jeanne Jakle,, "12 new fall 2020 TV shows to watch during a season upended by the coronavirus," 8 Sep. 2020 According to Page Six, the Oscar-winning actor is now in a relationship with 27-year-old German model Nicole Poturalski. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need to Know About Brad Pitt's Rumored Girlfriend, Nicole Poturalski," 27 Aug. 2020 From a safe distance, the British actor was able to enjoy both his birthday and his relationship with India without leaving his L.A. home. Hilary Fox, Star Tribune, "Dev Patel celebrates India from his Los Angeles front yard," 14 Aug. 2020 But the actor is quick to note the stage didn’t save his life. Washington Post, "Jonathan Majors is your new American hero," 13 Aug. 2020 The actor was in the middle of filming the comedy Official Competition with Penélope Cruz earlier this year, when shooting was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ruth Kinane,, "Antonio Banderas reveals he has coronavirus on his 60th birthday," 10 Aug. 2020 The British actor is actually the oldest of his on-screen siblings. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here Are the Real Ages of the Cast of "The Umbrella Academy"," 1 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for actor

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for actor


How to pronounce actor (audio)

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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