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[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for actors
  • Plenty of actors have found a way of capitalizing on their niche.
  • He built a stock company of actors and technicians, began overseeing his scripts, and eventually became a director.
  • actors will put participants through a training session based on the actual manual used.
  • The people in the audience are actors and entertainers also, but they are looking at him with pride as they applaud.
  • Sometimes, films are made so fast that actors shoot scenes for four different movies simultaneously.
  • If the parties agree on the agenda, all actors are given an action plan to implement its suggestions.
  • The actors read their lines alone in a soundproof recording booth to make sure only their voices were recorded.
  • Shielded only by protective suits, the actors were filmed swimming amid feeding frenzies.
  • The film's cast of non-actors pull off convincing performances that render their characters intriguing and memorable.
  • You'll see wanna-be actresses and actors everywhere.
British Dictionary definitions for actors


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
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Word Origin and History for actors



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
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Slang definitions & phrases for actors



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.
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actors in Technology
A model for concurrency by Carl Hewitt. Actors are autonomous and concurrent objects which execute asynchronously. The Actor model provides flexible mechanisms for building parallel and distributed software systems.
["Laws for Communicating Parallel Processes", C. Hewitt et al, IFIP 77, pp. 987-992, N-H 1977].
["ACTORS: A Model of Concurrent Computation in Distributed Systems", Gul A. Agha , Cambridge Press, MA, 1986].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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