Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ak-ter] /ˈæk tər/
a person who acts in stage plays, motion pictures, television broadcasts, etc.
a person who does something; participant.
Origin of actor
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin āctor, equivalent to āg- (see act) + -tor -tor
Related forms
nonactor, noun


[ak-ter] /ˈæk tər/
noun, Classical Mythology.
a brother of King Augeas, sometimes believed to be the father, by Molione, of Eurytus and Cteatus.
Compare Moliones. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for actor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One common grave, according to Garrick, covers the actor and his art.

  • It was all in his favour that he should have been forced at first to win his spurs as an actor.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • Could anything be more dull than the life of an actor in a repertory theatre?

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • All these actor cheps know it, so of course 'e'd 'a' known abaht it, too.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Montigny had been an actor, and was plump and good-humoured.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for actor


a person who acts in a play, film, broadcast, etc
(informal) a person who puts on a false manner in order to deceive others (often in the phrase bad actor)
Usage note
The term actor is almost universally used nowadays to refer to people of either gender who act
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for actor

late 14c., "an overseer, guardian, steward," from Latin actor "an agent or doer," also "theatrical player," from past participle stem of agere (see act (n.)). Mid-15c. as "a doer, maker," also "a plaintiff." Sense of "one who performs in plays" is 1580s, originally applied to both men and women.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for actor



An athlete who is good at pretending he has been hurt or fouled; esp, a baseball player who very convincingly mimes the pain of being hit by a pitch

Related Terms

bad actor

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for actor

Word Value for actor

Scrabble Words With Friends