Definition of thesp in US English:



  • An actor or actress.

    • ‘He still enjoys confounding expectations, corrupting the stereotype of the ageing thesp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The collection of veteran thesps may prove to be the chief pleasure of the production.’
    • ‘Worst of all, the pair ham up their performances too much for even the most hardened thesp to endure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As we all know, Oxford thesps are immensely versatile.’
    • ‘Alternatively, if they're English students (as most thesps are), they could be focussing on the various subtexts of the film.’
    • ‘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 only decent acting was from the British thesp Brian Cox.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘By the end of the evening, however, they have thawed sufficiently to join with the amateur thesps in a rousing dance.’
    • ‘The thesps even tried to protest they were only actors: but to no avail.’
    • ‘So the genre is still popular with budding thesps and egomaniacs, even if audiences are beginning to tire of it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Furious and getting more furious, the thesps realized they were losing the PR war.’


1960s: abbreviation of thespian.