Definition of actant in English:



  • (in literary theory) a person, creature, or object playing any of a set of active roles in a narrative.

    ‘the room has become an actant, a surrogate for the heroine herself’
    • ‘Successful actor-networks are built by enrolling the heterogeneous actants as active participants in a common project.’
    • ‘As Swapan Chakravorty has observed, the characters in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside are the result of a ‘shuffling [of] the old actants and indices’ of Middleton's earlier plays.’
    • ‘These four steps describe the interactions between three actants (abstract representations of characters and their functions): the Subject, the Object and the Sender.’
    • ‘Their most articulate supporters point out that Latour's non-human actants are already articulated by human agents (bacteria is a human/social category).’
    • ‘In other words, an actor / actant must be made relevant to others, be made indispensable to others, and be granted consent by others (enrolment).’



/ˈaktənt/ /ˈæktənt/