to learn (a role) in order to replace the regular actor or actress when necessary.
to act as understudy to (an actor or actress): to understudy the lead.
to act or work as an understudy.
a performer who learns the role of another in order to serve as a replacement if necessary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use understudy in a sentence
Seeing Michael do it was not a shock either, because I cast all of my understudies.‘Better’ than ever: an interview with Harvey Fierstein | Gregg Shapiro | March 10, 2022 | Washington Blade
For the most part, these secondary currencies will play the role of understudy to Nielsen’s measurements.Advertisers, TV networks plan to set Nielsen alternatives as ‘shadow currencies’ in this year’s upfront negotiations | Tim Peterson | January 31, 2022 | Digiday
This is especially impressive on Maksoud’s part, having stepped into the main role he was an understudy for just days before curtain up.‘The Visitor’ Makes a Bizarre Song and Dance About ICE Custody | Tim Teeman | November 5, 2021 | The Daily Beast
He made his Broadway debut in 1955, rising from extra to understudy for star Paul Muni in “Inherit the Wind.”Michael Constantine, Windex-loving dad in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ dies at 94 | Harrison Smith | September 9, 2021 | Washington Post
Two years later, a reporter asked Brees whether he would have been okay with Mahomes as his understudy.As Aaron Rodgers saga shows, keeping a franchise QB happy is almost as important as finding one | Adam Kilgore | May 6, 2021 | Washington Post
Some are now calling DSK's faux pas “a kiss of death” for Aubry as it makes her seem like no more than his understudy.
Since then the younger son, James, has stepped forward to understudy.
From Katie Holmes to Anne Hathaway, see our picks for her understudy.
He booked his first audition for understudy in the Tony-award-winning Thoroughly Modern Millie.
He was followed by an understudy, who made an ineffective effort to support his predecessor.David Dunne | Belle Kanaris Maniates
If Lilian were damaged somebody else could supply her place, but we havent any understudy for Lilians clothes!Winona of the Camp Fire | Margaret Widdemer
And yet she's rather like Gipsy, just like enough to be a kind of pale copy—an understudy, in fact.The Leader of the Lower School | Angela Brazil
"It'll do—for an understudy," said Bertram softly, for Billy's ears alone.Miss Billy's Decision | Eleanor H. Porter
He halted for a moment and then bawled out in a great voice, "understudy!"Biltmore Oswald | J. Thorne Smith, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for understudy
(tr) to study (a role or part) so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary
to act as understudy to (an actor or actress)
an actor or actress who studies a part so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary
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