see also: ACT
Pronunciation Noun


  1. (countable) Something done, a deed.
    an act of goodwill
    • That best portion of a good man's life, / His little, nameless, unremembered acts / Of kindness and of love.
  2. (obsolete, uncountable) Actuality.
    • The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterward grow to be.
  3. (theology) Something done once and for all, as distinguished from a work.
  4. (countable) A product of a legislative body, a statute.
  5. The process of doing something.
    He was caught in the act of stealing.
  6. (countable) A formal or official record of something done.
  7. (countable, drama) A division of a theatrical performance.
    The pivotal moment in the play was in the first scene of the second act.
  8. (countable) A performer or performers in a show.
    Which act did you prefer? The soloist or the band?
  9. (countable) Any organized activity.
  10. (countable) A display of behaviour.
  11. A thesis maintained in public, in some English universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student.
  12. (countable) A display of behaviour meant to deceive.
    to put on an act
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

act (acts, present participle acting; past and past participle acted)

  1. (intransitive) To do something.
    If you don't act soon, you will be in trouble.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To do (something); to perform.
    • that we act our temporal affairs with a desire no greater than our necessity
    • Industry doth beget by producing good habits, and facility of acting things expedient for us to do.
    • Uplifted hands that at convenient times / Could act extortion and the worst of crimes.
  3. (intransitive) To perform a theatrical role.
    I started acting at the age of eleven in my local theatre.
  4. (intransitive) Of a play: to be acted out (well or badly).
  5. (intransitive) To behave in a certain way.
    He's acting strangely - I think there's something wrong with him.
  6. (copulative) To convey an appearance of being.
    He acted unconcerned so the others wouldn't worry.
  7. (intransitive) To do something that causes a change binding on the doer.
    act on behalf of John
  8. (intransitive, construed with on or upon) To have an effect (on).
    High-pressure oxygen acts on the central nervous system and may cause convulsions or death.
    Gravitational force acts on heavy bodies.
  9. (transitive) To play (a role).
    He's been acting Shakespearean leads since he was twelve.
  10. (transitive) To feign.
    He acted the angry parent, but was secretly amused.
    • With acted fear the villain thus pursued.
  11. (mathematics, intransitive, construed with on or upon, of a group) To map via a homomorphism to a group of automorphisms (of).
    This group acts on the circle, so it can't be left-orderable!
  12. (obsolete, transitive) To move to action; to actuate; to animate.
    • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], (please specify ), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], OCLC 960856019 ↗:
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: agieren
  • Russian: де́йствовать
Proper noun
  1. Initialism of Australian Capital Territory, a federal territory of Australia.
    Coordinate terms: NSW#English|NSW, NT#English|NT, QLD, SA#English|SA, TAS#English|TAS, VIC#English|VIC, WA#English|WA
  2. Initialism of w:American College Test

act (plural acts)

  1. An instance of a certain standardized college admissions test in the United States, originally called the American College Test.

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