ac·​tress ˈak-trəs How to pronounce actress (audio)
: a woman or girl who is an actor
actressy adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Elvis actor, 66, and his singer/actress wife, 66, posted a joint statement to Instagram Thursday night, following the news that Lisa Marie had died. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 13 Jan. 2023 Oscar voters to realize that Michelle Williams gives the movie its soul and to nominate her for lead actress. Glenn Whippcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2023 Michelle Yeoh won the Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 11 Jan. 2023 The filmmaker, who began her career in the 1940s as an actress, trains her camera on the relations between men and women in three uncompromising early movies now gathered as a set by the Criterion Collection. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 2 Jan. 2023 Feeling grateful for what the cast of the ABC drama accomplished, the actress later shared photos from the night to commemorate the big moment. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 18 Dec. 2022 The actress and style star shared a new pic of her quality time with her young daughter on her Instagram story. Harper's BAZAAR, 11 Dec. 2022 In the past, the Les Misérables actress has shared her support publicly for a third film. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Dec. 2022 In an appearance on Ziwe's eponymous show, Riley did her professional best to sidestep saying anything damning about Lea Michele, but when pressed by the host, the singer/actress admitted Michele probably has a glaring blind spot. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 9 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


actor + -ess

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of actress was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near actress

Cite this Entry

“Actress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ac·​tress ˈak-trəs How to pronounce actress (audio)
: a woman or girl who acts especially in a play or movie or on television
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