Acts


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act

 (ăkt)
n.
1. The process of doing or performing something: the act of thinking.
2.
a. Something done or performed; a deed: a charitable act.
b. Law Something done that has legal significance: a criminal act.
3. A statute or other law formally adopted by a legislative body: an act of Congress.
4. A formal written record of proceedings or transactions.
5. One of the major divisions of a play, opera, or film.
6.
a. A performance or entertainment usually forming part of a longer presentation: a juggling act; a magic act.
b. The actor or actors presenting such a performance: joined the act in Phoenix.
7. A manifestation of intentional or unintentional insincerity; a pose: put on an act.
v. act·ed, act·ing, acts
v.tr.
1. To play the part of; assume the dramatic role of: She plans to act Ophelia in summer stock.
2. To perform (a role) on the stage: act the part of the villain.
3.
a. To behave like or pose as; impersonate: Don't act the fool.
b. To behave in a manner suitable for: Act your age.
v.intr.
1. To behave or comport oneself: She acts like a born leader.
2. To perform in a dramatic role or roles.
3. To be suitable for theatrical performance: This scene acts well.
4. To behave affectedly or unnaturally; pretend.
5. To appear or seem to be: The dog acted ferocious.
6. To carry out an action: We acted immediately. The governor has not yet acted on the bill.
7. To operate or function in a specific way: His mind acts quickly.
8. To serve or function as a substitute for another: A coin can act as a screwdriver.
9. To produce an effect: waited five minutes for the anesthetic to act.
Phrasal Verbs:
act out
1. To perform in or as if in a play; represent dramatically: act out a story.
2. To realize in action: wanted to act out his theory.
3. To engage in socially inappropriate or impulsive behavior as a manifestation of psychological or emotional pain or turmoil.
act up
1. To misbehave.
2. To malfunction.
3. Informal To become active or troublesome after a period of quiescence: My left knee acts up in damp weather. Her arthritis is acting up again.
Idioms:
be in on the act
To be included in an activity.
clean up (one's) act Slang
To improve one's behavior or performance.
get into the act
To insert oneself into an ongoing activity, project, or situation.
get (one's) act together Slang
To get organized.

[Middle English, from Old French acte, from Latin āctus, a doing, and āctum, a thing done, both from past participle of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

ac′ta·bil′i·ty n.
act′a·ble adj.
Usage Note: Act and action both mean "a deed" and "the process of doing." However, other senses of act, such as "a decision made by a legislative body" and of action, such as "habitual or vigorous activity" show that act tends to refer to a deed while action tends to refer to the process of doing. Thus, people engage in sex acts but not sex actions. By the same token, one may want a piece of the action, but not a piece of the act. The demands of meaning or idiom often require one word or the other. In some cases, either can be used: my act (or action) was premature.

ACT 1

 (ā′sē-tē′)
A trademark for a standardized college entrance examination.

ACT 2

abbr.
Australian Capital Territory
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.acts - a New Testament book describing the development of the early church from Christ's Ascension to Paul's sojourn at RomeActs - a New Testament book describing the development of the early church from Christ's Ascension to Paul's sojourn at Rome
New Testament - the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other epistles, and Revelation; composed soon after Christ's death; the second half of the Christian Bible
Translations
Apostolien teot
References in classic literature ?
The fairy queen's yellow curls reminded her of Amy, and between the acts she amused herself with wondering what her sister would do to make her `sorry for it'.
As the day approached when he was to leave her for a comparatively long stay, she grew melting and affectionate, remembering his many acts of consideration and his repeated expressions of an ardent attachment.
The sun had already disappeared, and the woods, suddenly deprived of his light*, were assuming a dusky hue, which keenly reminded him that the hour the savage usually chose for his most barbarous and remorseless acts of vengeance or hostility, was speedily drawing near.
Still, I don't wonder he acts so, sleeping under this paper for three months.
In the way of furniture, there is a stove with a voluminous funnel; an old pine desk with a three-legged stool beside it; two or three wooden-bottom chairs, exceedingly decrepit and infirm; and -- not to forget the library -- on some shelves, a score or two of volumes of the Acts of Congress, and a bulky Digest of the Revenue laws.
Again, it is very often observed that, if the sperm whale, once struck, is allowed time to rally, he then acts, not so often with blind rage, as with wilful, deliberate designs of destruction to his pursuers; nor is it without conveying some eloquent indication of his character, that upon being attacked he will frequently open his mouth, and retain it in that dread expansion for several consecutive minutes.
Being horizontal in its position, the Leviathan's tail acts in a different manner from the tails of all other sea creatures.
John does all he can to please her, and James does all he can, and our master never uses a whip if a horse acts right; so I think she might be good-tempered here.
His fathers were mighty hunters,--men who lived in the woods, and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to hold their candles; and their descendant to this day always acts as if the house were his camp,--wears his hat at all hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops of chairs or mantelpieces, just as his father rolled on the green sward, and put his upon trees and logs,--keeps all the windows and doors open, winter and summer, that he may get air enough for his great lungs,--calls everybody "stranger," with nonchalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frankest, easiest, most jovial creature living.
Indeed, I have reason to suspect myself on this head; and each year, as the tax-gatherer comes round, I find myself disposed to review the acts and position of the general and State governments, and the spirit of the people to discover a pretext for conformity.
And when it had got to the worst, and it seemed to me that I could not stand anything more, a fly got in through the bars and settled on my nose, and the bars were stuck and wouldn't work, and I couldn't get the visor up; and I could only shake my head, which was baking hot by this time, and the fly -- well, you know how a fly acts when he has got a certainty -- he only minded the shaking enough to change from nose to lip, and lip to ear, and buzz and buzz all around in there, and keep on lighting and biting, in a way that a person, already so distressed as I was, simply could not stand.
These people talked, between the acts, and I understood them, though I understood nothing that was uttered on the distant stage.