Definition of thesp in English:



  • An actor or actress.

    • ‘Delightful as it is to be button-holed by earnest young thesps promoting a mime version of Abigail's Party, there comes a time in every festival when enough is enough.’
    • ‘When your great-aunt, great-uncle and two cousins are thesps, plus, as he puts it, ‘your grandmother is the greatest Shakespearean actress in all Lithuania, you are hardly likely to drift into the fish trade’.’
    • ‘The thesps even tried to protest they were only actors: but to no avail.’
    • ‘Worst of all, the pair ham up their performances too much for even the most hardened thesp to endure.’
    • ‘Then the opportunity to retreat to an uncle's cottage in the Penrith countryside presents itself and the budding thesps can't get there fast enough.’
    • ‘Alternatively, if they're English students (as most thesps are), they could be focussing on the various subtexts of the film.’
    • ‘By the end of the evening, however, they have thawed sufficiently to join with the amateur thesps in a rousing dance.’
    • ‘Furious and getting more furious, the thesps realized they were losing the PR war.’
    • ‘He still enjoys confounding expectations, corrupting the stereotype of the ageing thesp.’
    • ‘The collection of veteran thesps may prove to be the chief pleasure of the production.’
    • ‘It is a little known fact that, whilst Arnold Schwarzenegger left acting to go into politics, fellow bemuscled thesp Jean-Claude Van Damme retired from Hollywood to go back to the family fruit business.’
    • ‘As we all know, Oxford thesps are immensely versatile.’
    • ‘After starring in school plays like many an aspiring thesp, Montgomery, 27, headed for theatre and gave notable performances in Strindberg's Miss Julie as well as various productions in London's West End.’
    • ‘Six or seven years later, as a young actor down to his last roll-up, I heard of an agency that offered unskilled, mind-numbing work to unemployed thesps.’
    • ‘A bonus with the Potter movies is their wonderful supporting casts, drawn from the first rank of British thesps.’
    • ‘So the genre is still popular with budding thesps and egomaniacs, even if audiences are beginning to tire of it.’
    • ‘The only decent acting was from the British thesp Brian Cox.’
    • ‘The cast are all excellent, but Rickman is superb as the hate-filled and bitter typecast thesp, desperately trying to retain some dignity with a prosthetic rubber lizard glued to his head.’
    • ‘Even the fact that the heroine is an ex-actor and the Washington bigwig she befriends a thwarted thesp gives the whole affair a cosy patina of showbusiness.’
    • ‘The book takes the form of interviews with twenty thesps, some you've heard of (Simon Callow, Willem Dafoe, William H Macy) and some you haven't.’


1960s: abbreviation of thespian.