role

play
noun \ ˈrōl \
variants: or less commonly rôle

Definition of role

1 a (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

Examples of role in a Sentence

  1. He plays the role of the villain.

  2. She was given the starring role.

  3. I had a minor role in the play.

  4. After her husband left her, she had to take on the dual role of mother and father for her children.

  5. She likes to play the role of matchmaker with her friends.

  6. She challenged the traditional roles assigned to women.

  7. We'll switch roles this time, and you can wash the dishes while I dry them.

  8. It was a case of role reversal: the father stayed home with the children while the mother worked.

Recent Examples of role from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of role

French rôle, literally, roll, from Old French rolle



ROLE Defined for English Language Learners

role

play
noun

Definition of role for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

role

play
noun \ ˈrōl \

Definition of role for Students

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 :1function 1
  • Anyone who volunteers for a special role on the trip gets extra credit …
  • —Ann M. Martin, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation

Medical Dictionary

role

noun
variants: also rôle play \ˈrōl\

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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