Also found in: Idioms.


1. A minor member of an operatic or dramatic cast, usually having no speaking part.
2. One whose presence or performance has little effect on an occurrence, group, or organization.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gielgud's first job as a professional actor was as a spear-carrier in a 1921 production of Henry V.
King Lear" was the first play Cronin ever acted in - he was a spear-carrier when he was in college himself - but not until now has he played the title role.
If I'd known that back then I would have knocked technical drawing on the head and signed up to become a young Romeo, understudy for young Romeo, spear-carrier for young Romeo, I don't care, just let me in on the Romeo action.
He remembers: 'I thought people were joking when they said they were just a spear-carrier.
He was a spear-carrier in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night.
He singled out arch-rival BBC1 for blame, accusing the pubcaster's flagship channel of prioritizing ratings over its traditional role as the industry's creative spear-carrier.
Roy Wiggins was, until a couple of years ago, wowing the pensioners from behind bars at Baginton Road Post Office and John Barnes rose to become chief spear-carrier at the Criterion Theatre (Earlsdon, not London).
And in the demanding ranks of tolling rep, he soon graduated from spear-carrier to featured comic supporting player.
Stuart said: "The best performance you could hope to get from Tony Adams is as a spear-carrier with no lines to deliver.
Marotin's book takes Valles up to the point where at last he could stop being a spear-carrier on the journalistic stage, edit his own papers, and, shortly afterwards, involve himself up to his neck in the Paris Commune.
Brown has been a spear-carrier for the Democrats for so long that no one realized that he was a black man," one Rainbow Coalition activist said.