1. (often lowercase) pertaining to tragedy or to the dramatic art in general.
  2. of or characteristic of Thespis.
  3. of or relating to Thespiae.


  1. (sometimes lowercase) a tragedian; an actor or actress.


  1. of or relating to Thespis
  2. (usually not capital) of or relating to drama and the theatre; dramatic

noun (usually not capital)

  1. often facetious an actor or actress

adj.1670s, “of or pertaining to tragedy or dramatic acting,” from Greek Thespis, poet of 6c. B.C.E., the traditional father of Greek tragedy. The names is literally “inspired by the gods.” n.“an actor,” 1827, from thespian (adj.). Short form thesp is attested from 1962.

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