Definition of leading man in US English:

leading man


  • The actor playing the principal male part in a movie, play, or television show.

    • ‘There are two basic types of male film actor - leading men and character players.’
    • ‘Now they are the leading men in a film that should be buried deeper than atomic waste.’
    • ‘He's required to carry this film as a leading man, and he does so with ease and grace.’
    • ‘Both films feature surly leading men of action who live to do battle with the forces of Hell, but the overall tones are miles apart.’
    • ‘In this film, he carries on his fine tradition of solid performances as a leading man in a dramatic role.’
    • ‘In movies, leading men romance actresses who are half their age.’
    • ‘His colleagues realise the reason headlines are focusing on him like a spotlight on a leading man, but they don't want him blinded by the praise.’
    • ‘He looks appealing rather than handsome, not so much Hollywood leading man as the leading man's good-natured sidekick.’
    • ‘She pretended she was a movie star, casting all of Hollywood's heartthrobs as her leading men, planning her red carpet outfits, her Oscar acceptance speech.’
    • ‘Even when the leading man's love interest dies I had to stifle a laugh such was the lack of emotional connection to the characters.’
    • ‘He's the oddball who again proves his mettle as both a character actor and leading man.’
    • ‘I never doubted that he was a very good actor, but as a leading man in a dramatic role [like this] he was going to be tested.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Scorsese gave small, but pivotal, parts to two long-time leading men who have settled into being well-loved character actors.’
    • ‘A serious spinal injury exempted him from military service and he began a film career during World War II when many other leading men were away at war.’
    • ‘Probably the real reason behind the three parallel narratives is to show how each of the characters with their palpable weaknesses are heroes and lovers and leading men in their own right.’
    • ‘What's more, it confirms him as one of Britain's brightest leading men, as he carries the film with effortless aplomb, capably winning the audience over in his bid to be lucky in love and triumphant on court.’
    • ‘I think we have a case of a good character actor in a place where a larger-than-life leading man is needed.’
    • ‘He is a fine comedic actor just breaking out to be a real leading man in his own right.’
    • ‘There are a few supporting actors, as well, but these are the main leading men.’
    • ‘He managed to transform himself from a B-grade actor to an A-list leading man in only one year.’
    leading role, star role, starring role, star part, title role, principal part
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leading man

/ˌlidɪŋ ˈmæn//ˌlēdiNG ˈman/