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

Examples of actor in a Sentence

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 The Notebook actor previously hosted SNL in 2015 and 2017. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 The actor has not appeared in a major film since the accusations were leveled. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 10 Apr. 2024 The letter, which The Guardian published on Wednesday, was spearheaded by Enola Holmes actor Susan Wokoma and Crowning Glory playwright Somalia Nonyé Seaton. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 10 Apr. 2024 The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum, 50, liked an Instagram post shared by the Canadian actor, 57, on Tuesday, April 9. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 10 Apr. 2024 Gabrielle, the struggling actor, is housesitting at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Hollywood was not quite ready to welcome a trans actor into the fold. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2024 The actor, who starred in the fantasy drama for eight seasons as the secret son of the late Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, tells Entertainment Weekly in an interview for his new movie Blood for Dust that the concept is shelved. Nick Romano,, 9 Apr. 2024 Cole says that Jason’s character’s behavior is informed by a lack of role models, something the actor had plenty in real life. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024

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

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 20 Apr. 2024.

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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