Definition of role in English:


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  • 1An actor's part in a play, movie, etc.

    ‘Dietrich's role as a wife in war-torn Paris’
    • ‘The film also uses actors not known for quality feature film acting or stage roles.’
    • ‘Most of the major roles were cast with actors I already knew and with whom I had acted earlier in my career.’
    • ‘Last she got to play varied kind of roles in films like Kastoorimaan where she had an author-backed role.’
    • ‘He plays on the brooding darkness that is present in almost all of his film roles, taking it up a notch for this role.’
    • ‘He's just one of a number of actors in small roles who add plenty of class to the film.’
    • ‘He had a major zombie role in the film and was preparing for a big time attack scene later in the shoot.’
    • ‘The studio then had her appear in cameo roles in two more films.’
    • ‘He also was prone to filing lawsuits and making absurd financial demands to do even cameo roles in films.’
    • ‘He demonstrates that even in a few scenes, he can still fulfill the promise his early film roles showed.’
    • ‘In a film requiring clearly drawn roles, the cast is almost totally interchangeable.’
    • ‘The three who did come to play these roles in the film were all under contract to Paramount at the time.’
    • ‘He has his cast so involved in the film and in their roles that they seem to inhabit the parts they play.’
    • ‘It was a great role for a genre film - you don't normally get to do much beyond screaming and running.’
    • ‘It was nice to play a leading role in a film, be given that responsibility and to be the driving force in the movie.’
    • ‘For the role of the ventriloquist in Magic I got some training from a guy called Denis Allwood.’
    • ‘Still, this has to be a role that every actress in Hollywood would surely have done anything to play.’
    • ‘She has the presence to carry the film, and the supporting roles are well-cast.’
    • ‘Her sister Lynn's performance in this film could also move her into more acting roles.’
    • ‘Linney and Aykroyd serve as the film's villains and do quite a lot with small roles.’
    • ‘I am looking for variety in roles and luckily all the films that I am doing have different subjects.’
    part, character
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    1. 1.1The function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation.
      ‘she greeted us all in her various roles of mother, friend, and daughter’
      • ‘religion plays a vital role in society’
      • ‘She stopped everything to care for her mother and assumed the caregiver role in the domestic sphere.’
      • ‘What part of ourselves was lost when we assumed our respective roles?’
      • ‘During the first part of Hals's career the militia companies continued to play a vital role in the defence of each city.’
      • ‘Let it be clear that I do believe that the National Gallery has a vital role to play in the new South Africa.’
      • ‘One of the military's major roles here is functioning as paid mercenaries and security guards for oil companies.’
      • ‘What is her role as a mother and ultimately what is her feminine strength?’
      • ‘In particular, they were a product of the treatment of women and their role in society at the time.’
      • ‘In part that has arisen out of misunderstanding about its changing role as a custodian of art and architecture.’
      • ‘Both men are suspicious of each other, fully aware of the roles they are meant to play in society.’
      • ‘Discuss the role of euphemisms in disguising something that is inherently bad.’
      • ‘We talked a bit about art and writing and the role of artists and writers in society.’
      • ‘At about the time of the Russian Revolution he had become interested in politics and in the role art could play in society.’
      • ‘If you then look at these European films, these are films where the role of the director is much bigger.’
      • ‘This remarkable reversal of roles is the film's strongest dynamic and occurs between virtually all the characters.’
      • ‘It had been clear to me, even if only in a diffuse sense, that film would play a role in my life.’
      • ‘Despite such criticism, he defends the right of great nations to assume prominent roles on the world stage.’
      • ‘Cohesion funding assumed a central role in budgetary politics in the late 1980s with the arrival of the Iberian states.’
      • ‘In recent years, the 64 year-old mother of six took a pivotal community leadership role, promoting reconciliation.’
      • ‘The finance office performs a vital role in the process - they have the money.’
      • ‘He said education had played a pivotal role in the economic development of many countries.’
      capacity, position, job, day job, post, office, task, duty, responsibility, mantle, place, situation
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/rōl/ /roʊl/


Early 17th century from French rôle, from obsolete French roule ‘roll’, referring originally to the roll of paper on which the actor's part was written.