ac·​tress | \ ˈak-trəs How to pronounce actress (audio) \

Definition of actress

: a woman or girl who is an actor

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from actress

actressy \ ˈak-​trə-​sē How to pronounce actressy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of actress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Someone walked by with an elaborate ostrich-feathered hat two feet tall, turning heads: actress Dascha Polanco. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Rihanna Keeps Reinventing the Lingerie Fashion Show with Savage X Fenty," 11 Sep. 2019 There are talented actors and actresses waiting tables all over L.A. There are talented musicians playing dive bars. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 U.S. Open," 8 Sep. 2019 The Heat's all-time leading scorer has relocated to the Los Angeles area, where his sons will attend school, to be closer to the work of his wife, actress Gabrielle Union. Ira Winderman,, "Dwyane Wade plans to work out with LeBron James, but no comeback, ‘I’m retired asf!’," 8 Sep. 2019 In chronological order, Nicole (Dakota Johnson) is a provincial stage singer and actress, married to local journalist Matt (Casey Affleck). Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Friend': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 One form involves pasting a face onto someone else’s body—in ZAO’S tantalising offering, your kisser can be stitched onto the svelte silhouette of an actor or actress in a hit film or television drama. The Economist, "Chinese netizens get privacy-conscious," 7 Sep. 2019 Progressives were aghast, and when actress Alyssa Milano objected, Texas Senator Ted Cruz jumped in to support Schaefer’s argument (in less bombastic terms). Rich Lowry, National Review, "Yes, Gun Ownership Is a God-Given Right," 6 Sep. 2019 The series, available to Netflix subscribers in 190 countries beginning Sept. 13, stars Emmy Award-winning actresses Toni Collette and Merritt Wever as police detectives in Colorado who team up to track down a serial rapist. Ken Armstrong, ProPublica, "Netflix Series Based on Our Work Explores Costs of Not Believing Rape Victims," 5 Sep. 2019 Works from noted milliner Tony Wilson, who has designed Kentucky Derby hats for actress Angela Bassett, will also be on display. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "She came to Louisville homeless. Now this veteran earns 6 figures as a fashion designer," 4 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of actress

1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for actress

actor + -ess

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about actress

Statistics for actress

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for actress

The first known use of actress was in 1586

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for actress



English Language Learners Definition of actress

: a woman or girl who acts in a play, movie, etc. : a female actor


ac·​tress | \ ˈak-trəs How to pronounce actress (audio) \

Kids Definition of actress

: a woman or girl who acts especially in a play or movie

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on actress

What made you want to look up actress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!