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Definition of understudy:

  1. One who studies another's part with a view to assuming it in an emergency.
  2. To study, as another actor's part, in order to be his substitute in an emergency; to study another actor's part.

Synonyms:

tack, standby, flip, jump, portray, costar, lead, actor, enact, body double, overact, switch, ham, take turns, flip-flop, leading lady, heart-throb, ad-lib, double for, play, act, actress, star, interchange, character actor, alternate.

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