thespian

noun
thes·​pi·​an | \ ˈthe-spē-ən How to pronounce thespian (audio) \

Definition of thespian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: actor

thespian

adjective

Definition of thespian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 often capitalized [from the tradition that Thespis was the originator of the actor's role] : relating to the drama : dramatic
2 capitalized : of or relating to Thespis

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Synonyms & Antonyms for thespian

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

  • nonactor
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Greek drama was originally entirely performed by choruses. According to tradition, the Greek dramatist Thespis, of the 6th century B.C., was the inventor of tragedy and the first to write roles for the individual actor as distinct from the chorus, and the actor's exchanges with the chorus were the first dramatic dialogue. Since Thespis himself performed the individual parts in his own plays, he was also the first true actor. Ever since choruses disappeared from drama, thespians have filled all the roles in plays. Thespian is also an adjective; thus, we can speak of "thespian ambitions" and "thespian traditions", for example.

Examples of thespian in a Sentence

Noun a renowned thespian and director although she's “acted” in a couple of horror movies, I'd hardly call her one of our more promising thespians
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Glints of his larger-than-life aesthetic shine forth from a host of contemporary stars with a flair for the thespian and the spectacular, including Janelle Monáe, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga. Jason Heller, The Atlantic, 12 May 2021 Rhonda Wilson is a pillar of the Gainesville, Florida, community as a Black thespian and middle school teacher. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 Hakim’s ethereal voice turns some of the compositions into otherworldly lullabies, while Nathanson’s spoken-word versions are downright thespian, a downtown Ovid passing on lessons to the next generation. T.m. Brown, Rolling Stone, 22 Apr. 2021 Actor Mark Ruffalo gave $1,750 dating back to December while fellow thespian Dylan McDermott gave $500. cleveland, 16 Apr. 2021 His chops as a thespian were on full display in major budget films like Belly and Romeo Must Die. Sharine Taylor, refinery29.com, 10 Apr. 2021 That early movie also departed from the same Cocteau text, so inevitably there’s plenty of Carmen Maura’s Pepa Marcos in Swinton’s passionate thespian. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2021 Robin Wright is the latest thespian to make this transition, as Land, her first foray into feature filmmaking, hits theaters on February 12. Gregory Wakeman, Vulture, 11 Feb. 2021 This marks Ben-Adir's most high-profile role yet, but the British thespian may already be familiar to some. J'na Jefferson, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As her characters ruminate over their past and future actions, Sweeney immerses us in the thespian worlds of New York and Los Angeles. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Apr. 2021 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Barry McGovern gives brilliant renditions of the Irishman Stoker and of Henry Irving, whose voice here is a thespian thunder. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020

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

Noun

1827, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for thespian

Time Traveler

The first known use of thespian was in 1567

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Statistics for thespian

Last Updated

21 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thespian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thespian. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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