Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

role

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun [countable] role pronunciation in British English /rəʊl/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularrole
pluralroles
  1. 1
    the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation

    It's not my role to tell the politicians what to do.

    role in:

    We expect parents to have a key role in this discussion.

    play a role:

    Trade unions have played a significant role in the recent debate.

    role of:

    The book examines the role of food and drink in society.

    role as:

    The banks developed a new role as providers of financial services.

  2. 2
    the character played by a particular actor in a film, play etc

    He won an Oscar for his role.

    take/play the role of someone:

    Who took the role of Ursula?

    leading/starring role (=the most important role):

    The leading role should have gone to a more well-known star.

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog