Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[ak-tris] /ˈæk trɪs/
a woman who acts in stage plays, motion pictures, television broadcasts, etc., especially professionally.
Origin of actress
First recorded in 1580-90; act(o)r + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for actress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was the document he had handed over to the actress the night before.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • But the detective and the actress had the compartment to themselves, and talked freely.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • He lived, for good reasons, in the same house as Florine, an actress for whom he wrote plays.

    Bureaucracy Honore de Balzac
  • "I know you'll treat me straight, Billy," said the actress, with much satisfaction.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • I shall endeavor not to marry the actress of questionable virtue, but I shan't attempt to etherialize politics.

    Sonia Between two Worlds Stephen McKenna
British Dictionary definitions for actress


a woman who acts in a play, film, broadcast, etc
(informal) a woman who puts on a false manner in order to deceive others
Usage note
Use of the word actress to refer to a female who acts is old-fashioned. The modern gender-neutral form is actor
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 actress

1580s, "female who does something;" see actor + -ess; stage sense is from 1700. Sometimes French actrice was used.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for actress

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for actress

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for actress