From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Film, Theatre
rolerole /rəʊl $ roʊl/ ●●● S2 W1 AWL noun [countable] 1 TAKE PART/BE INVOLVEDthe way in which someone or something is involved in an activity or situation, and how much influence they have on itrole in women’s role in society the role of diet in the prevention of diseaserole of They want to limit the role of government.2 AMFAPTthe character played by an actor in a play or film SYN partrole of Matthews plays the role of a young doctor suspected of murder.the lead/leading/starring role (=the most important role) A young actor named Johnny Depp was given the leading role.major/minor role It was Johansson's first major movie role.the title role (=the role of the character whose name is in the title of a film or play) The film features Paul Schofield in the title role.3 role reversalCOLLOCATIONSMeaning 1: the way in which someone or something is involved in an activity or situation, and how much influence they have on itverbsplay/have a roleHe played a prominent role in the company’s success.take on a role (also assume a role formal) (=start having it)Mr Jones took on the role of spokesperson for the organization.take a roleBritain began to take a more active role in the affairs of Europe.give somebody a roleHealth experts should be given a key role in developing the correct procedures. cast somebody in a role written (=give someone a role, especially one they do not want)He found himself cast in the role of guide and translator.adjectivesan important/major roleShe played an important role in her husband’s political career.a key/central roleThe report recognized the key role of teachers.a vital/crucial/essential roleEvery member of the team has a vital role to active role (=when you do practical things to achieve particular aims)She took an active role in the community.a leading role (=the most important role)They take a leading role in discussions.a significant roleTechnology is already playing a significant role in classroom teaching.a prominent roleThe military has played a prominent role in Burmese politics.a dual role (=when someone or something does two things)People have dual roles in society as producers and consumers.somebody’s traditional role (=one based on ideas that have existed for a long time, without changing)Some women are happy with their traditional role as carers.COLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: the character played by an actor in a play or filmverbsplay a roleShe was the first actress to play the role of Peter Pan.have a roleHis son has a small role in the series.take a roleIn the end, I decided not to take the a role (=be given a role)In 1982 he landed a role in the musical 'Destry Rides Again'.cast somebody in a role (=give them a role)Television producers would not cast her in lead roles.adjectivesa major/big roleIt was his first major role.a minor/small roleHe has had small roles in several other films.the lead/leading role (=the most important role)He had already cast Tom Hanks in the lead role.a starring role (=one of the most important roles)She was offered the starring role in a new British stage comedy.the title role (=the role of the character whose name is the title of the film or play)She will play the title role in ‘Emma’ later this year.a supporting role (=not one of the main roles)Lee has a supporting role as Judy’s best friend, a comic roleShe admits she is attracted to comic roles.
Examples from the Corpus
roleSchool staff take an active role in providing career guidance.But early today his role in the drama remained unclear.But we all had our little roles to play in this charade, and I was playing mine.The traditional male role in marriage is to provide for women and children.Luthans et al. would say that they conceived of the managerial role primarily as traditional management activities, and routine information.The marketing role in an organization is carried out by numerous individuals.The Forestry Commission has two official roles in national life.The truth of this does not make it easy to define the teacher's role in management.When he took over the role last year, the box office took off, and the reviews were positively glowing.
Origin role (1600-1700) French rôle roll, role, from Old French rolle; ROLL2