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[ak-ter] /ˈæk tər/

a person who in stage plays, motion pictures, television broadcasts, etc.
a person who does something; participant.
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)

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.


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


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