role

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have a role in (something)

1. To have a specific involvement or participation in something. There's no use lying to the committee, Mr. Marshall, as we know for a fact that you had a role in hiding your company's losses from its investors.
2. Literally, to have a job portraying a certain character in a performance. I hear that Samantha has a role in some new film. She's really making her way into the big leagues!
See also: have, role

play a role in (something)

1. To have a specific involvement or participation in something. There's no use lying to the committee, Mr. Marshall, as we know for a fact that you played a role in hiding your company's losses from its investors.
2. Literally, to have a job portraying a certain character in a performance. I hear that Samantha is playing a role in some new film. She's really making her way into the big leagues!
See also: play, role

play a large role (in something)

To have an extremely important or fundamental role (in some resultant situation, action, event, outcome, etc.). There were a lot of reason why I quit, but having to work 10 hours a day played a large role. Punk rock played a large role in forming my aesthetic sensibilities. The rookie quarterback ended up playing a large role in the team's amazing comeback victory yesterday.
See also: large, play, role

play a big role (in something)

To have an extremely important or fundamental role (in some resultant situation, action, event, outcome, etc.). There were a lot of reason why I quit, but having to work 10 hours a day played a big role. Punk rock played a big role in forming my aesthetic sensibilities. The rookie quarterback ended up playing a big role in the team's amazing comeback victory yesterday.
See also: big, play, role

play a small role (in something)

1. Literally, to act out a very small, inconsequential role (in some piece of drama, film, or television). I originally started off playing a small role in the sitcom, but over the years the character became wildly popular and really launched my career. A: "I heard you're in the latest Schwarzenegger movie, right?" B: "Yeah, I'm just playing a small role, though."
2. By extension, to have a very small, inconsequential role (in some resultant situation, action, event, outcome, etc.). I know you feel like you only played a small role in our victory today, but you were just as important out there as everyone else on the team. A: "I suppose those long, 12-hour days were why you quit, huh?" B: "Actually, those only played a small role—it was mostly just because I hated my boss."
See also: play, role, small

play a bit role (in something)

1. Literally, to act out a very small, inconsequential role (in some piece of drama, film, or television). I originally started off playing a bit role in the sitcom, but over the years the character became wildly popular and really launched my career. A: "I heard you're in the latest Schwarzenegger movie, right?" B: "Yeah, I'm just playing a bit role, though."
2. By extension, to have a very small, inconsequential role (in some resultant situation, action, event, outcome, etc.). I know you feel like you only played a bit role in our victory today, but you were just as important out there as everyone else on the team. A: "I suppose those long, 12-hour days were why you quit, huh?" B: "Actually, those only played a bit role—it was mostly just because I hated my boss."
See also: bit, play, role

play a part in something

 and play a role in something 
1. to participate in something in a specific way. I hope to play a part in the development of the new product. I want to play a role in this procedure.
2. to portray a character in a performance. He played a part in The Mikado, but it was not a major role. Larry wanted to play a role in the next play.
See also: part, play

role model

An individual whose behavior serves as an exemplar to others. This expression, dating from the second half of the 1900s, alludes to acting out parts in a theatrical production. It appeared in the New York Times Magazine (June 26, 1977): “If the teacher was a ‘role model’ parents were obviously unaware of it.”
See also: model, role