Definition of role noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊl//
    Elements of a play, Film reviews and promotion, Film plots
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  1. 1  the function or position that somebody has or is expected to have in an organization, in society or in a relationship the role of the teacher in the classroom She refused to take on the traditional woman's role. In many marriages there has been a complete role reversal (= change of roles) with the man staying at home and the woman going out to work.
  2. 2  an actor’s part in a play, film/movie, etc. It is one of the greatest roles she has played. Who is in the leading role (= the most important one)? Wordfinderactor, audition, body double, cameo, cast, play, role, star, stuntman, understudy Wordfinderact, cast, drama, entrance, exit, line, play, role, scene, speech CollocationsCinema/​the moviesWatching go to/​take somebody to (see) a film/​movie go to/​sit in (British English) the cinema/(North American English) the (movie) theater rent a film/​movie/​DVD download/​stream a film/​movie burn/​copy/​rip a DVD see/​watch a film/​movie/​DVD/​preview/​trailerShowing show/​screen a film/​movie promote/​distribute/​review a film/​movie (British English) be on at the cinema be released on/​come out on/​be out on DVD captivate/​delight/​grip/​thrill the audience do well/​badly at the box office get a lot of/​live up to the hypeFilm-making write/​co-write a film/​movie/​script/​screenplay direct/​produce/​make/​shoot/​edit a film/​movie/​sequel make a romantic comedy/​a thriller/​an action movie do/​work on a sequel/​remake film/​shoot the opening scene/​an action sequence/​footage (of something) compose/​create/​do/​write the soundtrack cut/​edit (out) a scene/​sequenceActing have/​get/​do an audition get/​have/​play a leading/​starring/​supporting role play a character/​James Bond/​the bad guy act in/​appear in/​star in a film/​movie/​remake do/​perform/​attempt a stunt work in/​make it big in Hollywood forge/​carve/​make/​pursue a career in HollywoodDescribing films the camera pulls back/​pans over something/​zooms in (on something) the camera focuses on something/​lingers on something shoot somebody/​show somebody in extreme close-up use odd/​unusual camera angles be filmed/​shot on location/​in a studio be set/​take place in London/​in the ’60s have a happy ending/​plot twist See related entries: Elements of a play, Film reviews and promotion, Film plots
  3. 3  the degree to which somebody/something is involved in a situation or an activity and the effect that they have on it the role of diet in preventing disease The media play a major role in influencing people's opinions. a key/vital role
  4. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from obsolete French roule ‘roll’, referring originally to the roll of paper on which the actor's part was written.Extra examples A cup of tea often serves an important social role. Dean Ely sings the title role. Economic factors played a decisive role in the outcome of the war. Ethan Hawke does a solid job in a thankless role. Every member of staff must have a clear role. He addressed the role of tradition in design. He assumed a conspicuous role at the new arts agency. He filled several governmental roles. He has been cast in the role of chief apologist for the government. He has the starring role in the movie. He is looking for ways to strengthen his role in the business. He is trying to carve out a new role for himself. He may have to settle for a backup role. He really wants to fulfil his role as godfather properly. He was very good in the role. I accepted the executive editor role at the magazine. I feel I can fit any role this team needs me to. I’ve had to take on the role of mother in her absence. In the series, Smith assumes the role of the go-between. It took her three years to land her first film role. John’s playing the leading role in this year’s play. Lee began to get big roles in movies. Many staff perform multiple roles. Migrant workers played a central role in the state’s prosperity. Most of the original cast are reprising their roles. Politicians acknowledge the key roles that young people play in the country. Pressure groups played a major role in bringing about the reforms. Regional managers occupy a crucial role in developing a strategic framework. Sbaraglia handles this difficult role well. She embraced her role as ruler of the country. She has a dual role as principal and French teacher. She has joined the team in a consultative role. She interprets the role as more tragic than I expected. She sings the title role in Tosca. Small businesses have a substantial role to play in keeping the economy buoyant. Supervising elections is a possible role for the UN. The authors emphasized the role of the slave trade in the economic development of the New World. The caregiving role is still overwhelmingly a female one. The fighting has prevented the UN troops from fulfilling their role as peacekeepers. The new prime minister promised a greater role for women in government. The paper examines the role of various institutions. The supporting roles are filled by British actors. Their brother plays a protective role. They decided to expand the role that new technologies play at the hospital. They have to be willing to accept their roles as caregivers and not managers. This is the plum role in the play. This role conflict can quickly escalate. Thomas downplays the role of these letters as historical evidence. Traditional gender roles are reversed in their household. Walken carefully underplays the role. We are waiting to see if he can handle an expanded role. We need to better understand the role of cold regions in the global climate system. We need to find a useful role for the volunteers in the campaign. We will meet with them to determine individual roles. a clearly defined role within the group a starring female role an area where national rivalries play a powerful role essays that question gender roles in a patriarchal culture her conflicting roles as mother and manager of a large company methods for exploring gender role expectations one of his stereotypical action hero roles the chance to sink her teeth into the meaty role of femme fatale Margaret the economic role of small towns the expanded role of the federal government the limited role of women in the church the opportunity to assume a leadership role within your organization the specific role of calcium in preventing disease the teacher’s role as instructor the views prevalent in society about female roles He stressed the role of diet in preventing disease. In many marriages there has been a complete role reversal with the man staying at home and the woman going out to work. Parents have a vital role to play in preventing accidents in the home. Playing the role of Hamlet is an immense challenge for the actor. She refused to take on the traditional woman’s role. The media play a major role in influencing people’s opinions. This report examines the role of the teacher in the classroom. Who is in the leading role?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: role