1

thespian

play
noun thes·pi·an \ˈthes-pē-ən\

Definition of thespian

  1. :  actor

Did You Know?

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.

1827

First Known Use of thespian

1827

Other Performing Arts Terms


2

thespian

adjective thes·pi·an

Definition of thespian

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

  2. 2 capitalized :  of or relating to Thespis

Examples of thespian in a sentence

  1. a renowned thespian and director

  2. although she's acted in a couple of horror movies, I'd hardly call her one of our more promising thespians

1567

First Known Use of thespian

1567

Other Performing Arts Terms


Learn More about thespian


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ