ac·​tor ˈak-tər How to pronounce actor (audio)
 also  -ˌtȯr
: one that acts : doer
: one who acts in a play, movie, television show, etc.
: one who behaves as if acting a part
: one that takes part in any affair : participant
political actors
actorish adjective
actorly adjective

Example Sentences

my sister went to drama school to become an actor Benjamin Franklin was a major actor in many of the events leading up to the founding of our nation.
Recent Examples on the Web Lawrence's two best men were his brothers, actor Joey Lawrence and musician Andy Lawrence. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 7 Mar. 2023 Sarah Goldberg also stars Barry's actor ex-girlfriend Sally Reed. Devan Coggan,, 7 Mar. 2023 Hayden started work as a child actor at 4 years old. Women's Health, 6 Mar. 2023 According to the publication, Davidson was driving with his girlfriend, 26-year-old actor Chase Sui Wonders, but there were no injuries reported. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 6 Mar. 2023 Emma Heming Willis is asking paparazzi to keep their distance from her husband, actor Bruce Willis, who was recently diagnosed with a rare type of dementia. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2023 Her most recent upload came hours before coming back to the Today show, sharing a picture of a quote from late actor Christopher Reeve. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 6 Mar. 2023 Shares of Paramount Global fell Monday following reports that the media company is considering a sale of its majority stake in BET Media Group, with actor/producer Tyler Perry a potential buyer. Wsj Staff, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2023 At the 29th SAG Awards on February 26, Michelle Yeoh—the formidable Malaysian actor who gives an electrifying, multiverse-spanning performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once—was named best actress. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English actour "doer, pleader," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin āctor, from agere "to drive (cattle), cause to move, do" + -tor, agent suffix — more at agent

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of actor was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near actor

Cite this Entry

“Actor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ac·​tor ˈak-tər How to pronounce actor (audio)
: one that acts
especially : a person who acts especially in a play or movie or on television

More from Merriam-Webster on actor

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