One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the theater) a person who learns another's role in order to be able to act as a replacement at short notice.
stand-in, substitute, replacement, reserve, fill-in, locum, proxy, backup, relief, standby, supply, surrogate, stopgap, second, alternative, ancillaryView synonyms
- ‘He is standing to the side once again on this day, an understudy in this tumultuous theatre.’
- ‘What is an understudy or replacement to do when he takes over a role vacated by a star?’
- ‘Opera singers have ‘doubles’, or understudies, who are able to take over a role in case of the principal's absence.’
- ‘It's a bit like the old fairy tale of an understudy in the theatre getting their chance when the real lead falls ill and given the opportunity commands the stage.’
- ‘Shortly after making the move, she was hired as an understudy for the company.’
- ‘We should've just gotten an understudy for her role!’
- ‘She was called back for a second, then a third audition before being cast as an understudy to the lead.’
- ‘They don't have an understudy to take that role right now.’
- ‘I was his understudy for a few years and I tried to learn as much as I could from him.’
- ‘The understudy has had laryngitis for the past week.’
- ‘This was the classic cliché - understudy steps in at the last moment and makes good.’
Learn (a role) or the role played by (an actor)‘he had to understudy Prospero’
- ‘After the auditions, she told me that she wanted me to understudy all of the parts, since I knew them already, just in case.’
- ‘Brian said: ‘It puts her in a good place for understudying the lead roles and if things work out well she could find herself going on for a principal before too long.’’
- ‘Amy played Christine in the Millennium tour of Phantom, when she was understudying the role.’
- ‘When rehearsals began, she was so impressed with him that she made him understudy for Jason's leading role.’
- ‘There are several Juliets, at least two Romeos, and among the 32 dancers everyone seems to understudy everybody else.’
- ‘Apparently their mate, who was understudying the lead, had gone on that night so they were there to support him.’
- ‘He will understudy his successor who has an important role behind the scenes on the tour.’
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