role

noun
\ ˈrōl How to pronounce role (audio) \
variants: or less commonly rôle

Definition of role

1a(1) : a character assigned or assumed had to take on the role of both father and mother
(2) : a socially expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society
b : a part played by an actor or singer
2 : a function or part performed especially in a particular operation or process played a major role in the negotiations

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Examples of role in a Sentence

He plays the role of the villain. She was given the starring role. I had a minor role in the play. After her husband left her, she had to take on the dual role of mother and father for her children. She likes to play the role of matchmaker with her friends. She challenged the traditional roles assigned to women. We'll switch roles this time, and you can wash the dishes while I dry them. It was a case of role reversal: the father stayed home with the children while the mother worked.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The segment opened with an introduction to the Smiths' role in Jordyn's life (the video is embedded below). Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "What Jordyn Woods' Red Table Talk Interview Revealed About the Cheating Drama," 1 Mar. 2019 In addition to her role The Wife, Starke has appeared in We Don't Belong Here, and Albert Nobbs. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Who Is Glenn Close's Daughter Annie Starke?," 25 Feb. 2019 The reaction, however, seemed far more muted than when the network signed up former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to a commentator role. Paul Farhi, The Seattle Times, "CNN hires a prominent conservative to help direct its political coverage," 19 Feb. 2019 From basic utility to all things aesthetic, flooring plays a great role in the look and feel of a space. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Best Carpet Types for a Perfectly Grounded Space," 13 Feb. 2019 Gaga has been characterized as an underdog, a Hollywood newcomer, for her breakout role in A Star Is Born (despite being a global superstar and winning a Golden Globe for acting in 2015). Kyndall Cunningham, Glamour, "The Oscar Race Is All About Gaga vs. Glenn—But What About Women of Color?," 22 Jan. 2019 Most of the test vehicles are VW Golf hatchbacks, which speaks to AID’s key role as the urban autonomous driving technology supplier for all Volkswagen Group brands like VW, Audi, and Porsche. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Audi pulls the curtain back on its self-driving car program," 18 Dec. 2018 Hyland fits right in, having become a household name years ago thanks to her role as Haley Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family, the award-winning ensemble comedy that has been running for nearly a decade. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 At the start of all the Russia craziness, Mr. Schiff had a choice: maintain the bipartisan integrity of his committee by working with Republicans to find honest answers, or take on the role of resident conspiracy theorist. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Schiffting to Phase 2 of Collusion," 21 Feb. 2019

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

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for role

French rôle, literally, roll, from Old French rolle

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Dictionary Entries near role

roky

rolamite

Roland

role

role model

roleo

role-play

Statistics for role

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for role

The first known use of role was in 1605

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More Definitions for role

role

noun

English Language Learners Definition of role

: the character played by an actor
: a part that someone or something has in a particular activity or situation
: the part that someone has in a family, society, or other group

role

noun
\ ˈrōl How to pronounce role (audio) \

Kids Definition of role

1 : a character assigned or taken on Switching roles, the children cared for their mother.
2 : a part played by an actor or singer
3 : function entry 1 sense 1 Anyone who volunteers for a special role on the trip gets extra credit …— Ann M. Martin, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation

role

noun
variants: also rôle \ ˈrōl How to pronounce rôle (audio) \

Medical Definition of role

: a socially prescribed pattern of behavior usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society

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More from Merriam-Webster on role

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with role

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for role

Spanish Central: Translation of role

Nglish: Translation of role for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of role for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about role

Comments on role

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