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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
role
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a central role/part
▪ The report emphasizes the central role of science in society.
a key role
▪ Sanders played a key role in the team’s winning season.
a positive role model
▪ We should provide girls with more positive role models.
a vital role/part
▪ Nurses play a vital role in hospitals and surgeries.
act a part/role
▪ She is acting the role of Lady Macbeth six evenings a week.
act a part/role
▪ Stella felt unnatural in their company, as if she was acting a part.
advisory role/capacity
▪ He was employed in a purely advisory role.
an active role
▪ Most men play a less active role in family life than women.
assign sb a task/role
▪ I’ve been assigned the task of looking after the new students.
assume the role of
▪ Jim Paton will assume the role of managing director.
cameo role/appearance
caring role
▪ More men are taking on a caring role.
cast sb in a role/a part/the lead
▪ The producer finally cast Finsh in the male lead.
cast...in the role of
▪ Clarke’s trying to cast me in the role of villain here.
dual role/purpose/function
▪ The bridge has a dual role, carrying both road and rail.
fulfil a role/duty/function etc
▪ A good police officer is not fulfilling his role if he neglects this vital aspect.
gender roles (=the positions of men and women in society)
▪ It is a country where gender roles have remained largely unchanged.
interventionist approach/role/policy
▪ The UN adopted a more interventionist approach in the region.
leadership role
▪ The US must now take a firm leadership role.
major role/part/factor etc
▪ Britain played a major role in the negotiations.
perform a function/role
▪ The two organizations perform similar functions.
pioneering role
▪ She played a pioneering role in opening higher education to women.
pivotal role
▪ The Bank of England has a pivotal role in the London money market.
play a crucial role/part in sth
▪ Parents play a crucial role in preparing their children for adult life.
play a prominent part/role (in sth)
▪ Mandela played a prominent role in the early years of the ANC.
play a role/part/character etc
▪ Playing a character so different from herself was a challenge.
play an active role in sth
▪ Do you play an active role in your community?
played a leading role
▪ The army played a leading role in organizing the attempted coup.
play/perform an essential role in sth
▪ Antibiotics play an essential role in controlling infection.
positive role model
▪ I want to be a positive role model for my sister.
role model (=someone that you try to copy because they have qualities you would like to have)
▪ Good teachers can act as positive role models.
role model
▪ I want to be a positive role model for my sister.
role reversal
▪ Some carers and dependants find it difficult to adapt to a role reversal.
starring role (=the most important part in a film)
▪ ‘The Freshman’ was Brando’s first starring role in ten years.
strengthen the role of sb/sth
▪ A presidential decree strengthened the role of the Security Council.
stress the role of sb/sth
▪ In her speech, she stressed the role of parents in preventing youth crime.
subservient role/position
▪ His wife refused to accept a traditional subservient role.
the changing role of sb
▪ the changing role of women in society
title role
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
active
▪ Take an active role in asking for appointments; most kinds of research benefit from discussion at least every month or so.
▪ None the less, many legislatures continue to have an active and significant role in policy making.
▪ He believes that the subtle discrimination practised on him resulted from his active role in a North sea safety committee.
▪ The scholar needs an active role in inquiry.
▪ They said the board had to take a more active role.
▪ So I also intend to take an active role speaking around the country.
▪ Immediately after Dudley's elevation, Gloucester was appointed to the commission of the peace, where he played an active role.
Active learning roles for pupils, therefore, also mean active assessment roles for pupils.
central
▪ That is why bread plays such a central role in festivals.
▪ David Beckham captained the side and played in a central midfield role.
▪ To Greeley, the central role of a newspaper was that of conscience for its time.
▪ Both use metaphors that confirm his central role in the proceedings.
▪ Women played a central role in the economic transformations.
▪ Banks play a central role as consultants, advisers and agents in acquisition situations.
▪ Punch played a central role in the evolution of satirical humour and in creating opportunities for the cartoonist and the illustrator.
crucial
▪ Clearly, within particular realms of human experience they may play crucial roles in assisting individuals and groups to achieve their ends.
▪ The mutual recognition of ministers and members that is inherent in all union schemes plays a crucial role here.
▪ They are already playing a crucial role in multimedia design and development.
▪ Might not some essential aspects of quantum theory also be playing crucial roles in the physics that underlies our thought processes?
▪ Clearly, one's state of mind can also play a crucial role in the health of one's heart.
▪ Work with Royal Logistics Corps plays a crucial role in getting supplies and troops in and out of the war zone.
▪ Factors such as temperature and acidity play a crucial role in determining how well the process works.
▪ It has a crucial ideological role that underpins everything else.
dual
▪ Councillor Tait has now been handed a letter which expresses concern over Mr Gilbert's dual role.
▪ His decision was made in 1992, when he gave up his brief dual role as publisher.
▪ In addition to this worry about the dual role, some teachers, and headteachers in particular, doubt the skills and experience of advisers.
▪ Balancing the dual roles of minister to the world and shepherd to his own flock has taken its toll.
▪ His Role: Melville has cast Pip in a dual role.
▪ Investment has a dual role to play within any economy.
▪ Coach Mike Sherman will take over in a dual role after Wolf's last day on June 1.
great
▪ Therefore we need to study in greater depth the role played by television and other visual media in contemporary society.
▪ He was a great role model-he had even clerked for Oliver Wendell Holmes.
▪ It was to be one of the actor's greatest roles.
▪ The United States in 1938 saw no pressing need to play any great role in the world.
▪ Though he undertook a great variety of roles, all were informed at heart with the wisdom of the sad clown.
▪ The state is given an even greater role than in the developmental model in creating conditions for justice and equality.
▪ And it had always been one of Gesner's greatest roles.
▪ Nevertheless, it was radio which played the greatest role in the development of music.
important
▪ All these factors were to play an important role in the disaster of 1940.
▪ As on land, local topography plays an important role in affecting the distribution of organisms.
▪ The Government have an important role in improving vehicle security.
▪ In particular we saw the important role that peer relationships played.
▪ As we have seen the magistrates have an important role to play in overseeing the extension of detention beyond thirty-six hours.
▪ At a crucial moment, the United States played an important supporting role.
▪ Typology dominated archaeological thinking until the 1950s, and still plays an important role in the discipline.
▪ Handicapped members, who play an important role in the Rangers, pay no subscription.
key
▪ The project high-lighted the key role of the expert advisors which are used by farm managers in undertaking their roles.
▪ Some others holding key roles in a voluntary capacity have experienced unusual pressure.
▪ It also plays a key role in technical evaluations.
▪ Leadership plays a key role in the overall levels of motivation and collaboration. 11.
▪ In this process, the Women' s Cooperative Guild played a key role.
▪ Poulantzas' explanation gives a key role to the relation between the capitalist state and capitalist ideology.
▪ Dreaming has a key role in psychoanalytic theory.
▪ And then midway through the second-half he played a key role in Brian Strain's vital winner.
leading
▪ This would be her third attempt and I knew she was practising the leading role all the time.
▪ And his circle, his generation, have a leading role to play in the establishment of a popular universe.
▪ Second, where change has occurred, particularly at the intraregional scale, migration has played the leading role.
▪ Joan Collins and Keith Baxter will be playing the leading roles in the play.
▪ The latter should play a leading role in ensuring these statements are understood by governors and staff.
▪ He topped the poll for the shadow cabinet elections and played a leading role in the policy review process.
▪ Marion Tait and Joseph Cipolla dance the leading roles.
▪ It is crucial to our trade and investment that we continue to play a leading role in the Community.
major
▪ The internal slave-trade, though much used in abolitionist arguments, seems to have played no major role.
▪ These figures in turn played a major role in securing the support of Sen.
▪ Class interests are often regarded as playing a major role in the way political institutions develop.
▪ The third major role of legislators concerns their interactions with the executive.
▪ During the tumultuous years that followed, Nottinghamshire was to play a major role in the bitter conflict.
▪ Gorbachev also was quick to admit that the process of globalization played a major role in cracking open the closed Soviet society.
▪ Previously Warriors played a major role in the land war in the Gulf.
▪ It plays a major role in focusing energy in the right areas and on the right subjects.
minor
▪ In between Kylie had enjoyed success in a few other minor television roles.
▪ The big Muppet stars are relegated to minor roles and humans take center stage.
▪ A time when adventure came first and pure athleticism played only a minor role in the great climbing game.
▪ They include history; but in this chapter it will play only a minor role.
▪ There were many others playing more minor roles.
▪ This kind of group can be thought of as having only a minor role within counselling.
▪ In the realm of secret diplomacy it would appear that public opinion had only a very minor role to play.
▪ Motor buses occupy a relatively minor role in the period covered by this volume.
new
▪ Their new role is to challenge conventional wisdom.
▪ For now, most could not delineate, with any confidence, what their new role entailed.
▪ Some cats outlasted him and I became their gravedigger - a new role thrust on me.
▪ Often families, like the patients, floundered in their efforts to adapt to new roles and changed life stories.
▪ I look forward to working with him in his new role.
▪ For the first half of the year the managers were, in fact, intent on mastering their new roles.
▪ Valerie Cass had found a new role to play.
▪ Getting comfortable in his new role, he played six positions and was a designated hitter in 104 games.
pivotal
▪ Hoddle's pivotal role in Swindon's sweeper system stifled United's customary flowing football.
▪ Many of the recipes for braised and grilled dishes employ thyme in a pivotal role.
▪ The present article starts by highlighting the pivotal role of police results in the criminal process.
▪ But the private sector had the pivotal role as the provider of jobs and the builder of the new urban resource base.
▪ Hollandshort, bespectacled and plain-spoken-allows that there was some initial studio skepticism about casting Leigh in the pivotal role.
▪ Venison plays a pivotal role in our culinary heritage.
▪ Religious conservatives such as Curry will play a pivotal role in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
positive
▪ In 1963 Kennedy moved to take a more positive role in the struggle for civil rights.
▪ Maybe you'd know how to act if you had some more positive role models and some real heroes in your life.
▪ It has a positive role to play in an organisation, and that role is particularly emphasised in this chapter.
▪ There was no positive role model to follow, and plenty of negative ones not to follow.
▪ Thus, a positive, promotional role is given to state welfare, where services are provided as of right to all citizens.
▪ The post-war period until the late 1970s witnessed governments playing a positive role in stimulating demand through reflation of the economy.
▪ But how are they to play a more positive role?
▪ Pressures are being exerted to give the Community a more positive role in industrial policy.
prominent
▪ In a few governments have a prominent role.
▪ Some conservatives complain they are being excluded from prominent convention roles.
▪ Historically women have played a more prominent role in media education than in any other field of communication studies.
▪ Modern geologists agree that earthquakes had a prominent role in creating the present spectacle of the valley.
▪ Guimaraes had emerged from near retirement to play a prominent public role in the process to impeach Collor.
▪ Attorney General Grant Woods of Arizona has taken a prominent role in that effort, according to participants.
▪ It was not coincidental that Interministerial Councils played a particularly prominent role in the formulation of economic and financial policy.
▪ Semantics has not always enjoyed a prominent role in modern linguistics.
significant
▪ Now, for the first time, fixed though often not very stringent criteria for appointment began to play a significant role.
▪ The newly disclosed documents contradict White House claims that Mrs Clinton did not play a significant role in the firings.
▪ Basil Rocke played a highly significant role in the beginning of this transformation of the ethos of the classroom.
▪ The recession of the early 1990s played a significant role in college enrollment.
▪ And she came to play a significant role in building his career.
▪ But does this make it play a less significant role in overcoming his problem?
▪ Noise and danger resulting from too many vehicles has played a significant role in making inner cities unpleasant places to be.
▪ In all this, music has a significant role to play in enabling and fostering closer relationships between the denominations.
social
▪ Gilligan relates this difference to the differing social roles and relationships of men and women.
▪ Individuals therefore interact in terms of roles. Social roles regulate and organize behaviour.
▪ The social work role in relation to the families of residents is considered at the end of this chapter.
▪ A social role thus involves mutual expectations.
▪ Other social roles within the Rowdies group were much less easy to isolate.
title
▪ Carl Lumbly stars in the title role.
▪ Winningham delivers Oscar-caliber work, too, in the less showy but equally complex and demanding title role.
▪ It is especially sad to see that happen when the title role is played so superbly by Hopkins.
traditional
▪ Perhaps Hincmar's silence here was tactful, since Charles the Bald's sons had not distinguished themselves in the traditional roles.
▪ Melanie and Jonathan have fallen into traditional roles without really knowing how it happened. at least on her part.
▪ Yet these organizations bring women out of the family in ways that do not fundamentally challenge their traditional roles.
▪ It is they who carry out the traditional infantry role of closing with and destroying the enemy.
▪ Challenging traditional roles is not easy.
▪ This was more the case for the partners of older women, who themselves were socialised into more traditional roles.
▪ For the term indicates nothing less than a complete questioning of the traditional role of local government.
▪ The most obvious effect was to constrain societies to their traditional role of lending for house purchase.
vital
▪ The Guinness bid transformed the company into an international giant and Ward had played a vital role in bringing this about.
▪ Lend-lease support began flowing to Moscow in November 1941, playing a vital role in the Soviet war effort.
▪ The programme has not recognised the vital role that chemistry plays across most industrial sectors.
▪ Code-making and code-breaking played a vital role in winning the war.
▪ Proper training of food handlers has a vital role in improving their morale and motivation and ensuring that standards are met.
▪ This is where the monetarist assumption of an exogenous money supply plays such a vital role.
▪ In so doing she demonstrated the vital role of the family in early-modern towns.
▪ However, this apparent simplicity hides the vital role that friction plays in the process.
■ NOUN
gender
▪ It is easy to assume that any significant, gender-linked difference should be attributed to the general operation of gender roles.
▪ In times past, our whole social system effectively assigned gender roles at birth.
▪ The data suggest that gender role is influential.
▪ We can see, then, that there are many elements and factors in this change in gender roles.
▪ We need to look, then, for the specific practices that produce gender roles rather than stopping at the roles themselves.
▪ He clearly portrays the pressures that changing gender roles exert on family life.
▪ This leads us to ask: what part does unemployment play in gender roles?
▪ Since these women too had traditional gender roles, how was their greater use of this vernacular feature to be explained?
lead
▪ Many local chambers of commerce are already taking a lead role in this process.
▪ Four actors were initially tested for the lead role of Joe Buck, among whom Michael Sarrazin was first choice.
▪ The 57-year-old tenor made two mistakes in the lead role of Verdi's Don Carlos.
▪ Salomon Brothers will take a lead role in the international share offer, the statement said.
▪ In mainland Britain MI5 now has the lead role in intelligence gathering.
▪ Could this untried youngster pull off a lead role in a Broadway play? people sitting in on rehearsals asked the director.
leadership
▪ Other countries were looking to the United States to take a firm leadership role, said one official.
▪ Heads should therefore still be taking a key leadership role.
▪ His leadership role was taken from him and he resumed his role as physician.
▪ The Local Government Act 2000 also gives local authorities the powers they need to take a community leadership role.
▪ None of them started college expecting or planning to take a leadership role.
▪ Hence it will be necessary to take account of the structure in determining what leadership role is most appropriate.
▪ Gradually, team leaders in work-unit teams change to more of a coordination rather than leadership role as the team develops.
model
▪ Where are the black role models for them to follow?
▪ Disability aside, one of her top priorities is to be a role model and mentor to aspiring radiologists.
▪ Having said that my two roles models, if you like, are Jean-Pierre Rives and Michael Jones.
▪ He should be a role model and provide the proper image to the community and participate in the community.
▪ He wasn't evil enough to be a role model to us.
▪ Other women have not had entrepreneurial role models or a history of small-business ownership, the study showed.
▪ Deborah Harry was a very different kind of role model.
▪ Atalanta was a role model Amelia could relate to.
play
▪ Discussion should take place regarding the learning methods, i.e. practical work, discussions, role play, tutorials and individual study.
▪ Then role play that scene with others from the group.
▪ We'd done this lots of times, role play, in Soc.
▪ Alter each role play, have group members provide feedback on what the person did well and what aspects need improvement.
▪ Then the role play can be pursued as in any of 1 to 3 above.
▪ Units comprise discussion, reading, role play, writing assignment, vocabulary building, practice in points of grammar.
▪ Eight existing modules are being revised and two new ones are being developed in video production and role play.
▪ Practise use of skills in role play.
■ VERB
act
▪ They will act in a facilitating role to help in focusing on more general social and economic need.
▪ But men do not feature prominently as family members acting in their familial role.
▪ The company secretarial department of the firm can and have acted in this role on occasions.
▪ Crowe brings much more than acting to the role.
▪ How have the parents acted as role models?
▪ Hunters might seek to kill them, but they are quite capable of turning the tables and acting out the agent role.
▪ You may act as a role model and a mentor to others.
▪ Magistrates are also reported to want to reconstruct the raid using volunteers to act out the roles.
assign
▪ You've assigned me the role of heartless villain financier, obsessed with money, wealth, and luxury.
▪ They will be divided into teams and assigned civic roles.
▪ Aristotle never explicitly assigned comedy an inferior role to that of tragedy.
▪ If your child is playing Nintendo ask if you might play together and let him assign you to your role.
▪ I was struck by his great attention to detail and how systematically he assigned roles.
▪ Yet their assigned role is also in conflict with their desire for a professional identity.
▪ In the literatures of both cultures, the daughter has been assigned the role of passionate witness.
▪ Harte also interrogates the sentimental by assigning Ken tuck the role of camp spokesman.
assume
▪ Margaret Bondfield joined the guild in 1911 and with Llewellyn Davies assumed a critical role in reform of health and maternity policy.
▪ He had been to school one day and already he was using phrases and assuming roles that belonged to a different world.
▪ The book assumes the role of the most patient instructor.
▪ Unlucky-looking people made them uneasy and even tempted some to assume the role of misfortune.
▪ Better therefore to try to anticipate such a calamity by assuming the role of an active and vigilant peace-maker.
▪ On the evening of the first full rehearsal she is again pressured into assuming a role.
▪ However, in order to do this, it follows that you must be versatile and able to assume many different roles.
▪ Both could assume roles on the new cable network.
cast
▪ The Falcons have been cast in the role of curtain-raisers and will open the show on both days.
▪ Deronda resents being cast in the role of listener and mentor.
▪ In his first season at Arsenal he was cast in the role of footballer turned male model.
▪ Once cast in the role of Guardian of Truth and Traditional Wisdom, a scientist ceases to be scientific.
▪ After all Meredith was not alluding to her, any more than he was casting himself in the role of Caesar.
▪ Doctors such as geriatricians and psychiatrists have been cast in the role of fixers and gatekeepers to protect the institutions.
▪ No longer are local authorities cast in the role of protectors of unpopular, run-down schools.
▪ Where else will you be cast in the role of a dolphin?
fill
▪ This will have profound implications for established roles and relationships, and the development of people with talent to fill the roles.
▪ Thomas gave Rose credit for filling the role of point guard Wednesday.
▪ Inside, however, I felt inherently inferior, inadequate to fill the role.
▪ With the shift toward commercial traffic plus diminishing federal support, most regional providers have to evolve to fill new roles.
▪ But, for the most part, these men and women were hired to fill more junior roles than Mr Steffen's.
▪ And who, today, comes anywhere near filling that role?
▪ So who might be available to fill this role: Ruddock - recently gone to Liverpool.
▪ We deny this, only to the inevitable result that we fool ourselves, and fill our leadership roles with fools.
fulfil
▪ In addition, clothes must help a woman to fulfil her special roles.
▪ Thus women continued to forgo having children rather than be penalized for fulfilling their biological role.
▪ Ironically, one way out of this problem is to employ paid workers to fulfil some roles in a club.
▪ The whole is supported at each spandrel by kneeling figures, apparently fulfilling the role of Atlas.
▪ Could any one house be sufficiently interesting to fulfil this dual role after the first flush of passion passed?
▪ The judgment rate is an important part of the creditor's arsenal that fulfils a dual role.
▪ However, on examination we find that the criminal process does not and can not fulfil this role.
perform
▪ In Czechoslovakia, the People's Militia perform a similar role.
▪ After they had performed well in the role, these women made prestigious marriages, as does Cinderella.
▪ But in competitive equilibrium prices are performing a second role.
▪ He performed that unglamorous role for Cleveland early in 1998, then was traded to San Francisco in mid-season.
▪ And to perform this role they need to have sufficient content to be used rather as premises in inferences.
▪ Infantry traditionally performed three roles: It held ground, took ground, and con-ducted precise reconnaissance when on patrol.
▪ In their different spheres, Rice and Albers both performed another important role typical of leaders of Great Groups.
support
▪ Indeed many are still advice workers and are thus constantly furnished with very real on-going practical experience to support their tutoring role.
▪ She married Jose in 1963 and played an important supporting role as he rose to prominence in the business world.
▪ Goblins are primarily support troops - their role is to ensure that your core troops get into combat against their chosen target.
▪ At a crucial moment, the United States played an important supporting role.
▪ There is also evidence to support a role as a risk factor for gastric carcinoma.
▪ Old in particular played a crucial supporting role for the second time in the match.
take
▪ A Marxist approach which takes the role of ideology seriously needs to analyse punishment in terms such as these.
▪ The growth of anticommunist violence in Miami had intimidated many people from taking activist roles in liberal politics throughout south Florida.
▪ In the world of the infant and parent, the referential function of language often takes a subordinate role to others.
▪ Although the hospital is new to the area, it is taking an active role in the community and its improvement.
▪ Entomology was also taking on an economic role as its application to pest control became evident.
▪ The last several years, he has said he is prepared to take a more active role in the clubhouse.
▪ To take the latter role first, some music needs no accompaniment.
▪ It coped with social problems long before governments took on that role.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
meaty role
▪ It was a meaty role that, under other circumstances, he might have enjoyed.
play a part/role
▪ Although the budget committees guide Congress's actions on spending, every committee plays a role.
▪ Hart clearly played a role in the decision to change admission standards.
▪ Men now play a larger part in looking after their children.
▪ Our goal is to make sure everyone plays a part and shares in the credit.
▪ Schneider played a key role in getting the organization started.
▪ The most effective learning occurs when the child is allowed to play a more active role in the learning process.
▪ The Secretary of State played a leading role in the government's successful foreign policy.
▪ Together with the police everyone can play a part in improving the security of their neighborhood.
▪ But big-city gangsters also play a part.
▪ By speaking out about envy between women, comedy can play a part in helping us to heal it in ourselves.
▪ He was six now and understood that I had played a role in his parents separation.
▪ Luck has to play a part in it.
▪ Sure, the Pentium chip plays a part, but other components provide the big difference.
▪ The New Man rejects traditional roles of parenthood and likes to play a part in decision-making.
▪ The researchers said more investigation was needed into whether vaccinations or pesticides played a part.
▪ Therefore, both over-confidence and under-confidence may play a part in creating an environment in which accidents happen more readily.
plum job/role/assignment etc
▪ For me, it was a plum assignment.
▪ He took over the £60,000-a-year plum job only three weeks ago.
▪ The good news was he had landed a plum job on the mortgage trading desk.
supporting part/role/actor etc
▪ At a crucial moment, the United States played an important supporting role.
▪ Benicio Del Toro won the best supporting actor prize for Traffic.
▪ But the chief joy despite several eye-catching supporting roles remains watching Courtenay milk the script for all its worth.
▪ He felt the other two were satisfied to play supporting roles to Gedge and to a lesser extent, himself.
▪ Hopper won a supporting role in that film too.
▪ Its most unarguable successes are in the main supporting roles.
▪ The meats are unfailingly tender and flavorful, and the stuffed tomatoes deserve a Tony Award for best supporting actor.
▪ The three supporting roles are all superbly played.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ School staff take an active role in providing career guidance.
▪ The traditional male role in marriage is to provide for women and children.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ 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.
▪ Luthans et al. would say that they conceived of the managerial role primarily as traditional management activities, and routine information.
▪ The Forestry Commission has two official roles in national life.
▪ The marketing role in an organization is carried out by numerous individuals.
▪ 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.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Role

Role \R[^o]le\, n. [F. See Roll.] 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 r[^o]le of philanthropist.

Title r[^o]le, the part, or character, which gives the title to a play, as the part of Hamlet in the play of that name.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
role

"part or character one takes," c.1600, from French rôle "part played by a person in life," literally "roll (of paper) on which an actor's part is written," from Old French rolle (see roll (n.)). Meaning "function performed characteristically by someone" is from 1875. In the social psychology sense from 1913. Role model first attested 1957.

Wiktionary
role

n. 1 A character or part played by a performer or actor. 2 The expected behaviour of an individual in a society. 3 The function or position of something.

WordNet
role
  1. n. 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" [syn: function, office, part]

  2. an actor's portrayal of someone in a play; "she played the part of Desdemona" [syn: character, theatrical role, part, persona]

  3. what something is used for; "the function of an auger is to bore holes"; "ballet is beautiful but what use is it?" [syn: function, purpose, use]

  4. normal or customary activity of a person in a particular social setting; "what is your role on the team?"

Wikipedia
Role

A role (also rôle or social role) is a set of connected behaviours, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people 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:

  1. The division of labour in society takes the form of the interaction among heterogeneous specialised positions, we call roles.
  2. 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.
  3. Roles are occupied by individuals, who are called actors.
  4. When individuals approve of a social role (i.e., they consider the role legitimate and constructive), they will incur costs to conform to role norms, and will also incur costs to punish those who violate role norms.
  5. Changed conditions can render a social role outdated or illegitimate, in which case social pressures are likely to lead to role change.
  6. The anticipation of rewards and punishments, as well as the satisfaction of behaving prosocially, account for why agents conform to role requirements.

The notion of the role is examined in the social sciences, more specifically economics, sociology and organisation theory.

Role (disambiguation)

A role is defined mostly in s social context, as a set of connected behaviours, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualised by actors in a social situation.

Role may also refer to:

Usage examples of "role".

That role gave him access to the transfer procedures, including how bank officials arranged for a transfer to be sent.

If Addis spoke lightly of your role, it was only to permit you to refuse with no embarrassment, since in failure your fate will be worse than his.

Mari Ado, ex of the Little Blue Bugs, was criminally competent in a number of insurgency roles that had nothing to do with wavecraft, and for that matter no less well endowed physically than a number of the other female bodies in the room, Virginia Vidaura included.

Royalist critics on the Right charged that his mediating, unifying role as National Guard commander was hopelessly undercut by his advocacy of natural rights and his tolerance of popular movements that could lead only to social disintegration.

Special Forces units trained in Aggressor tactics playing the role of the adversary.

If Alec should falter in his role tonight, she would not broadcast the fact.

The allegation would have less impact and credibility if Casey were out of office, removed because of suspicions about his role.

The active Kappa Theta Etas, the alumnae, the missing one, and even the deceased one qualified for some role in the muddlesome puzzle.

On three occasions assassination plots resulted in the deaths of Alvarado clones who were playing the role of the Maximum Leader at public ceremonies.

Katie Oats and Richard Ancho were praised as role models of the Paranormal Investigation Division.

Like the birthday parties that earlier played a strategic role in the apocalyptic subtext, this festive occasion might be seen as a fresh start, another new page in the story of life.

English journalism, would play, like the Chamberlain government, a dubious role in the disastrous British appeasement of Hitler.

Mussolini was then inclined to accept a role in a dual court arbitrage and Ciano made a proposal to Ribbentropp to that effect.

As the only incorporated man in Argali, Maxard Argali had governed the province for Kamoj when she was young and was shifting his role to that of advisor now that she had reached her adulthood.

When this idea does triumph, it turns out that the only role these masses can play is the passive one of unwieldy building material for the articulate part of the population.