What does role mean?

Definitions for roleroʊl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word role.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. function, office, part, role(noun)

    the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group

    "the function of a teacher"; "the government must do its part"; "play its role"

  2. character, role, theatrical role, part, persona(noun)

    an actor's portrayal of someone in a play

    "she played the part of Desdemona"

  3. function, purpose, role, use(noun)

    what something is used for

    "the function of an auger is to bore holes"; "ballet is beautiful but what use is it?"

  4. role(noun)

    normal or customary activity of a person in a particular social setting

    "what is your role on the team?"


  1. role(Noun)

    A character or part played by a performer or actor.

  2. role(Noun)

    The expected behaviour of an individual in a society.

    The role of women has changed significantly in the last century.

  3. role(Noun)

    The function or position of something.

    Local volunteers played an important role in cleaning the beach after the oil spill.

  4. role(Noun)

    : The function of a word in a phrase.

  5. Origin: From rôle.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Role(noun)

    a part, or character, performed by an actor in a drama; hence, a part of function taken or assumed by any one; as, he has now taken the role of philanthropist

  2. Origin: [F. See Roll.]


  1. Role

    A role or social role is a set of connected behaviours, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualised by actors in a social situation. It is an expected or free or continuously changing behaviour and may have a given individual social status or social position. It is vital to both functionalist and interactionist understandings of society. Social role posits the following about social behaviour: ⁕The division of labour in society takes the form of the interaction among heterogeneous specialised positions, we call roles. ⁕Social roles included appropriate and permitted forms of behaviour, guided by social norms, which are commonly known and hence determine the expectations for appropriate behaviour in these roles. ⁕Roles are occupied by individuals, who are called actors. ⁕When individuals approve of a social role, they will incur costs to conform to role norms, and will also incur costs to punish those who violate role norms. ⁕Changed conditions can render a social role outdated or illegitimate, in which case social pressures are likely to lead to role change.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Rôle

    rōl, n. the part performed by an actor in a play: any important part played in public life. [Fr.]

  2. Role

    rōl, n. an ancient unit of quantity, seventy-two sheets of parchment.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Role

    The expected and characteristic pattern of behavior exhibited by an individual as a member of a particular social group.

Suggested Resources

  1. ROLE

    What does ROLE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the ROLE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'role' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #496

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'role' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1118

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'role' in Nouns Frequency: #169

Anagrams for role »

  1. lore, Orel, orle, relo

  2. lore

  3. relo

  4. orle

  5. Orel


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of role in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of role in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Riyad Mansour:

    Music has a role, fashion has a role, cinema has a role, intellectuals have a role, parliamentarians, politicians, diplomats -- all of it.

  2. William Torrey Harris:

    Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening. ... The average American (should be) content with their humble role in life, because they're not tempted to think about any other role.

  3. John Delury:

    America has played a certain role in Asia since 1945 ... that role has in the end of the day been a stabilizer, that's what being undermined here with a president who thrives on unpredictability ... it's going to eat away at the fundamental credibility of the US role in Asia.

  4. John Kitzhaber:

    Cylvia needs to be advocating the same clean economy policy in her role as spokesperson/advocate for the Governor's Office and her role as a Clean Economy Fellow. There cannot be any daylight between them, but this is another reason why she needs a role in developing the policy itself.

  5. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal:

    I think we'll have a bigger conversation first within the Republican Party, then with the American people about what's the proper role of the federal government, i do hope that Common Core will be one more, one more reason for us to have this bigger debate, this bigger conversation about the proper role of the federal government in local education.

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Translations for role

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