understudy

[ uhn-der-stuhd-ee ]
See synonyms for: understudyunderstudiedunderstudying on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),un·der·stud·ied, un·der·stud·y·ing.
  1. to learn (a role) in order to replace the regular actor or actress when necessary.

  2. to act as understudy to (an actor or actress): to understudy the lead.

verb (used without object),un·der·stud·ied, un·der·stud·y·ing.
  1. to act or work as an understudy.

noun,plural un·der·stud·ies.
  1. a performer who learns the role of another in order to serve as a replacement if necessary.

Origin of understudy

1
First recorded in 1870–75; under- + study

Words Nearby understudy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use understudy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for understudy

understudy

/ (ˈʌndəˌstʌdɪ) /


verb-studies, -studying or -studied
  1. (tr) to study (a role or part) so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary

  2. to act as understudy to (an actor or actress)

nounplural -studies
  1. an actor or actress who studies a part so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary

  2. anyone who is trained to take the place of another in case of need

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