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act·​ing ˈak-tiŋ How to pronounce acting (audio)
: the art or practice of representing a character on a stage or before cameras


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: holding a temporary rank or position : performing services temporarily
acting president
: suitable for stage performance
an acting play
: prepared with directions for actors
an acting text of a play

Examples of acting in a Sentence

Noun Her acting is unusually good in this film. a new style of acting Adjective The college's acting president will be replaced with a permanent one next fall. will serve as acting president of the university until a permanent replacement can be found
Recent Examples on the Web
But again, that’s where my acting started, so my heart will always be with theater. Kailyn Brown, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 His adolescent love of acting and poetry translated to his music. Spin Staff, Spin, 29 Sep. 2023 Grossman served nearly two and a half years as U.S. attorney in acting, interim and appointed capacities after Biden took office and Trump-appointee Robert Brewer resigned as part of a routine process when a new administration takes office. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Sep. 2023 The action flick, which also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, marks the pop star's first major acting role following her screen debut as Mermaid Barbie in hit film, Barbie. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 28 Sep. 2023 His truest, ugliest self tends to emerge in his increasingly frequent set-tos with Linda, whose impatience with his documentary persona gradually wears through even her considerable acting ability. Guy Lodge, Variety, 20 Sep. 2023 After the departure of then-Executive Director Rodney Forte in late 2018, five different people have led the housing authority as executive director in permanent, interim or acting capacities. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, 9 Sep. 2023 The 2011 reboot was an industry pioneer in how the genre presents a story mode, complete with great acting and a plot with dramatic twists. Gene Park, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2023 Having bid farewell to the darkly funny HBO drama, Succession star Brian Cox is set to impart his acting skills on the education platform, BBC Maestro. Carita Rizzo, Rolling Stone, 12 Sep. 2023
But as acting mayor, she was chosen to serve the remainder of Moscone’s term and would go on to win two mayoral elections. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 Two men were killed and three were wounded Wednesday night in the Brentwood area of Northeast Washington, acting D.C. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2023 Kardashian’s leading role in the new season also marks the most prominent acting role to date for the reality star. Anna Tingley, Variety, 21 Sep. 2023 After Wieland leaves in early November, aviation director Ed Freni will serve as acting CEO of the port authority., 5 Sep. 2023 While he’s made appearances in the action blockbusters F9 and Bullet Train, his role in Cassandro marks Bad Bunny’s most prominent acting role to date. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 14 Sep. 2023 Her final acting role was in 1980's Brubaker alongside Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 12 Aug. 2023 Replacing Romero, at least on an acting basis, is Demetre Daskalakis, who has spent the past year in Washington as deputy director of the White House’s national mpox response team. Helen Branswell, STAT, 9 Aug. 2023 Famous members such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell all refined their acting and musical chops while on the show. Stephanie Sengwe, Peoplemag, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



from gerund of act entry 2


from present participle of act entry 2

First Known Use


1590, in the meaning defined above


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of acting was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near acting

Cite this Entry

“Acting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: serving temporarily or in place of another
acting president

More from Merriam-Webster on acting

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