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English definition of “understudy”

understudy

noun [C]     /ˈʌn.dəˌstʌd.i/ US  /-dɚ-/
an actor who learns the parts of other actors in a play, so that he or she can replace them if necessary, for example if they are illCasting, roles and scriptsActors and performers understudy     verb [T]
(Definition of understudy noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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