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

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 Kim Seokjin, or Jin, the oldest member, born in 1992, had perfect lips and thespian ambitions. E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker, 21 June 2022 Torres is the type of thespian who practices his award rejection speeches in the mirror. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2022 Master thespian and expert mocker of awards-season silliness. Glenn Whippentertainment Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2022 But Gormican knew there was no one else whom audiences would buy as deeply down on his luck, who was also admired as a serious, award-winning thespian and beloved as a mainstream action star. Stuart Miller, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 Rosario Dawson is starring as the titular character and the cast also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ukrainian actress Ivanna Sakhno and Australian thespian Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Feb. 2022 But Gormican knew there was no one else whom audiences would buy as deeply down on his luck, who was also admired as a serious, award-winning thespian and beloved as a mainstream action star. Stuart Miller, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 Dutch actor Michiel Huisman and Mexican thespian Alfonso Herrera are also on board the Netflix mega-project that begins production later this month. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Apr. 2022 But Gormican knew there was no one else whom audiences would buy as deeply down on his luck, who was also admired as a serious, award-winning thespian and beloved as a mainstream action star. Stuart Miller, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Spurs forward’s performance in his grade school play quite literally proved the thespian maxim that there are no small parts. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Oct. 2021 Rob’s co-star for The Animal was Colleen Haskell, who is better known as Colleen from the first season of Survivor, and this movie more or less ended her thespian endeavors. Tom Scharpling, Vulture, 12 July 2021 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 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near thespian

Thespesius

thespian

the Spirit

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Statistics for thespian

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thespian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thespian. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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