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 Here are the actors playing the Jackson family and those closest to the King of Pop in the new biopic The cast of the Michael Jackson biopic has big shoes to fill. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Although the seasoned actor is known and praised for his work in seminal films like Moonlight, Birdbox, and Mike, he’s considered one of the finest men alive, mainly because of his taut physique. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 10 Feb. 2024 The cast underwent training before production and practiced target shooting, but the actor wasn’t completely comfortable with the firearms. Emily Zemler, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 On the flip side, SAG-AFTRA proactively helps actors avoid signing such rights away. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 9 Feb. 2024 And every actor knows your job as a guest star is to hit your mark, say your line, and stay out of the way. TIME, 9 Feb. 2024 Her greatest challenge was not letting her character portray what the actor knew. Lisa Rosen, Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan. 2024 Past Men of the Year recipients include actors Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 29 Jan. 2024 At the time, the actor shared a photo with Kaitlin, their elder two daughters and a sonogram. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 29 Jan. 2024 See More

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 24 Feb. 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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