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 ⁕Changed conditions can render a social role outdated or illegitimate, in which case social pressures are likely to lead to role change.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. Mike Tyson:

    I am not a role model.

  2. Jason Walsh:

    It was a physical role.

  3. Deitra Galloway:

    She's a great role model.

  4. Matthew Thompson:

    I took my role seriously.

  5. Robin Dollman:

    He is an amazing role model.

Images & Illustrations of role

  1. rolerolerole

Translations for role

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for role »


Find a translation for the role definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these role definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"role." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/role>.

Are we missing a good definition for role? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for role:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.