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or rôle

[rohl] /roʊl/
a part or character played by an actor or actress.
proper or customary function:
the teacher's role in society.
Sociology. the rights, obligations, and expected behavior patterns associated with a particular social status.
Origin of role
1600-10; < French rôle roll (as of paper) containing the actor's part
Related forms
multirole, adjective
Can be confused
role, roll.
2. capacity, position, responsibility, duty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for role
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No one person's role is more or less important than the other's.

    Nursing as Caring Anne Boykin
  • At forty if a man chooses to assume the role of Orlando he does it to perfection.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • I shook hands with as much dignity as I could assume, for the role of impersonation was a new one to me.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • Perhaps in desperation you may assume the role of cook yourself.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • His entrance is less ostentatious than it might be if he knew of the role that has been assigned to him.

    Alice Sit-By-The-Fire J. M. Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for role


a part or character in a play, film, etc, to be played by an actor or actress
(psychol) the part played by a person in a particular social setting, influenced by his expectation of what is appropriate
usual or customary function: what is his role in the organization?
Word Origin
C17: from French rôleroll, an actor's script
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 role

"part or character one takes," c.1600, from French rôle "part played by a person in life," literally "roll (of paper) on which an actor's part is written," from Old French rolle (see roll (n.)). Meaning "function performed characteristically by someone" is from 1875. In the social psychology sense from 1913. Role model first attested 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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role in Medicine

role or rôle (rōl)
The characteristic and expected social behavior of an individual.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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