1 in a play, film, etc.
ADJ. lead, leading, starring, title | supporting | comic, tragic | cameo | film, television | TV
VERB + ROLE perform, play, take John's playing the leading role in this year's play. | cast sb in | interpret She interprets the role as more tragic than I expected.
PREP. in the ~ (of) He was very good in the role.
2 position and importance
ADJ. central, crucial, decisive, dominant, essential, fundamental, important, key, leading, major, pivotal, primary, prominent, significant, vital | minor, secondary, subordinate | constructive, full, positive, useful, valuable | active | passive | direct | clear Every member of staff must have a clear role. | traditional | changing | dual, twin She has a dual role as principal and French teacher. | conflicting her conflicting roles as mother and manager of a large company | advisory, consultative, managerial, supervisory | maternal, parental | economic, educational, military, political, social, strategic the economic role of small towns A cup of tea often serves an important social role. | symbolic
VERB + ROLE have, occupy, perform, play, serve Regional managers occupy a crucial role in developing a strategic framework. | provide (sb/sth with) | adopt, assume, take (on) I've had to take on the role of mother in her absence. | fulfil He really wants to fulfil his role as godfather properly. | cast sb in He has been cast in the role of chief apologist for the government. | find We need to find a useful role for the volunteers in the campaign. | define, redefine a clearly defined role within the group | swap
ROLE + NOUN model | reversal
PREP. in a/the ~ She has joined the team in a consultative role. | ~ as the teacher's role as instructor | ~ for The new prime minister promised a greater role for women in government. | ~ in Pressure groups played a major role in bringing about the reforms.