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Editor has four major senses:

  1. a person responsible in some way for the final appearance of a publication;
  2. a film editor, a person responsible for the flow of a motion picture or television program from scene to scene
  3. a sound editor, a person responsible for the flow and choice of music, voice, and other sound material in a recording
  4. an editor (software), a software tool that can be used to input and format text.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, editor comes from the Latin phrase e ditus which means "to put forward". The editor ludorum in Ancient Rome was the person who put on the games. In French, editeur means "publisher". The word came into English from French. The verb edit is a back formation from editor.

Human editors in the print publishing industry include people who are responsible for:

The smaller the publication, the more these roles run together. In particular, the substantive editor and copy editor often overlap: