leading man


Definition of leading man

: an actor who plays the leading male role

Examples of leading man in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In her nearly four-decade film and television career, Sarah Jessica Parker has worked with many of Hollywood’s top leading men — including Steve Martin, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey and Alec Baldwin. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Sarah Jessica Parker recalls forcing a ‘big movie star’ to stop harassing her in pre-#MeToo era," 5 July 2019 Hitchcock got his first choice of both leading man and leading woman with Cary Grant and Eva-Marie Saint. Alec Dent, National Review, "North by Northwest Turns 60," 28 June 2019 Yet the show never lets the audience take a dramatic breath — even climactic moments such as the leading man’s death or the revelation of the story’s villain fly by. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Ghost,’ at Theater West End, is pale version of hit movie | Review," 24 June 2019 USA TODAY Life takes a crack at ranking some of Hollywood's hottest leading men - whose names happen to all be Chris. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Chris Evans mocks proposed 'Straight Pride' parade, argues for 'empathy and growth'," 6 June 2019 Hollywood casts age-inappropriate women for almost every leading man while at the same time casting women my age as the mothers of their peers. Melanie Hamlett, Glamour, "Men My Age Wouldn’t Date Me, so I Became a ‘Cougar’," 5 Apr. 2019 Chris Soules Season 19’s Bachelor leading man was charged with fleeing from a deadly car accident after being arrested in April 2017 in connection with a crash that killed 66-year-old Vietnam veteran Kenneth E. Mosher. Michele Corriston, PEOPLE.com, "The Bachelorette Contestants' Biggest Off-Screen Controversies," 18 June 2019 Cary Grant One of Hollywood’s leading men, Cary Grant, retired at the age of 60 when his daughter, Jennifer, was born to focus on raising her. Fox News, "6 stars who put their career on hold to raise their kids," 4 Nov. 2016 Though 2018 saw the rise of the male peacock, most of Hollywood’s leading men tend to play it safe on the red carpet: suits in classic navy, gray, or black dominate the scene. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Somehow Rami Malek Pulled Off a Red Suit on the Red Carpet," 10 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leading man.' 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 leading man

1827, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for leading man

The first known use of leading man was in 1827

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More Definitions for leading man

leading man


English Language Learners Definition of leading man

: an actor who plays the most important male role in a play or movie

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leading man

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