1

act

play
noun \ˈakt\

Definition of act

  1. 1a :  the doing of a thing :  deed an act of courageb law :  something done voluntarily

  2. 2 :  the process of doing something :  action caught in the act

  3. 3 :  the formal product of a legislative body :  statute an act of Congress; also :  a decision or determination of a sovereign, a legislative council, or a court of justice

  4. 4 :  one of the principal divisions of a theatrical work (such as a play or opera) a play in three acts

  5. 5a :  one of successive parts or performances (as in a variety show or circus) a magic actb :  the performer or performers in such an act a two-person comedy actc :  a performance or presentation identified with a particular individual or group They took their act on the road.d :  the sum of a person's actions or effects that serve to create an impression or set an example a hard act to follow

  6. 6 :  a display of affected behavior :  pretense put on an act that deceived nobody His friendly concern was just an act.

  7. 7 often capitalized :  a formal record of something done or transacted

  8. 8 :  a state of real existence rather than possibility

into the act

or

in on the act

  1. :  into an undertaking or situation as an active participant saw the success they were having and wanted to get in on the act

Examples of act in a Sentence

  1. We were grateful for her many acts of kindness.

  2. the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  3. Please read act II, scene 1 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

  4. In the first act, two characters are talking in a restaurant.

Origin and Etymology of act

Middle English, partly from Latin actus doing, act, from agere to drive, do; partly from Latin actum thing done, record, from neuter of actus, past participle of agere — more at agent


First Known Use: 14th century


2

act

verb

Definition of act

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to take action :  move think before acting acted favorably on the recommendation

  3. 2 :  to conduct oneself :  behave act like a fool

  4. 3a :  to perform on the stage began acting at the age of eightb :  to behave as if performing on the stage :  pretend seemed angry but was just acting

  5. 4 :  to perform a specified function :  serve trees acting as a windbreak

  6. 5 :  to produce an effect :  work wait for a medicine to act

  7. 6 :  to give a decision or award adjourned without acting on the bill

  8. 7 of a play :  to be capable of being performed a play that acts well

  9. transitive verb
  10. 1a :  to represent or perform by action especially on the stage will act the part of Romeo in tonight's playb :  feign, simulate act indifferencec :  impersonate

  11. 2 :  to play the part of as if in a play act the man of the world

  12. 3 :  to behave in a manner suitable to Act your age.

  13. 4 obsolete :  actuate, animate

actability

play \ˌak-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

actable

play \ˈak-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of act in a Sentence

  1. He knew he had to act quickly.

  2. The government was slow to act.

  3. She acted on behalf of her father, who was not at the meeting.

  4. I believe that the killer acted alone.

  5. She had acted in self-defense when she killed her attacker.

  6. We were acting in the best interests of our children.

  7. We must act soon to end this crisis.

  8. She learned at an early age how to act properly in social situations.

  9. People are always telling me how I should act and what I should say.

  10. I noticed that the dog was acting funny this morning.

Origin and Etymology of act

see 1act


First Known Use: 1590


3

act

abbreviation

Definition of act

  1. 1 active

  2. 2 actor

  3. 3 actual

Other Performing Arts Terms


1

ACT

abbreviation

Definition of ACT

  1. 1 Action for Children's Television

  2. 2 Association of Classroom Teachers

  3. 3 Australian Capital Territory


2

ACT

trademark \ˌā-ˌsē-ˈtē\

Definition of ACT

  1. —used for a standardized achievement test to evaluate suitability for college admission


ACT Defined for English Language Learners

1

act

play
noun \ˈakt\

Definition of act for English Language Learners

  • : something that is done

  • : a law made by a group of legislators

  • : one of the main divisions of a play or opera

2

act

verb

Definition of act for English Language Learners

  • : to do something : to take action

  • : to behave in a particular way

  • : to behave in a way that is not sincere or honest


ACT Defined for Kids

1

act

play
noun \ˈakt\

Definition of act for Students

  1. 1 :  something that is done :  deed an act of bravery

  2. 2 :  a law made by a governing body

  3. 3 :  a main division of a play

  4. 4 :  one of the performances in a show a juggling act

  5. 5 :  an insincere way of behaving Her crying was just an act.


2

act

play
verb

Definition of act for Students

acted

;

acting

  1. 1 :  to do something :  move It's important to act quickly in an emergency.

  2. 2 :  to behave oneself in a certain way He's been acting strangely.

  3. 3 :  to perform as a character in a play Both stars agreed to act in the movie.

  4. 4 :  to perform a certain function She'll act as our guide.

  5. 5 :  to have a result :  make something happen :  work The medicine acts on the heart.

act up

  1. :  to behave badly


Medical Dictionary

1

act

play
noun \ˈakt\

Medical Definition of act

  1. 1:  a motor performance leading to a definite result

  2. 2:  a dealing with objects (as by moving, perceiving, or desiring them)


2

act

intransitive verb

Medical Definition of act

  1. 1:  to perform an act :  behave

  2. 2:  to produce an effect wait for a medicine to act


act

abbreviation

Medical Definition of act

  1. active


Law Dictionary

1

act

noun

Legal Definition of act

  1. 1a :  something done by a person in accordance with his or her free will a tortious act — see also actus reus b :  the failure to do something that one has a legal duty to do —called also negative act

  2. 2a often capitalized :  the formal product of a legislative body :  the formally declared will of a legislature the final requirement of which is usually the signature of the proper executive officer :  statute an act of Congress in furtherance of the purposes…of that actU.S. Code b :  a decision or determination of a sovereign, a legislative council, or a court of justice — compare bill 1

  3. 3 often capitalized :  a formal record of something done or transacted given as my free act and deed


2

act

intransitive verb

Legal Definition of act

  1. 1 :  to carry into effect a determination of the will :  take action

  2. 2 :  to discharge the duties of a specified office or post :  perform a specified function —used with a prepositional phrase declaring what officer shall then act as President — U.S. Constitution art. II

  3. 3 :  to give a decision or award (as by vote of a deliberative body or by judicial decree) —often used with on adjourned with several important matters still not acted on

actor

\ˈak-tər\ play noun


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