Wiktionary:Webster 1913/16

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Page 16


acrase, acraze[edit]

A*crase", A*craze" (#), Transitive verb [Pref. a- + crase; or cf. F. écraser to crush. See Crase, Craze.]

1. To craze. [Obs.] Grafton.

2. To impair; to destroy. [Obs.] Hacket.

acrasia, acrasy[edit]

A*cra"si*a (#), Ac"ra*sy (#) n. [Gr. akrasia.] Excess; intemperance. [Obs. except in Med.] Farindon.


A*cras"pe*da (#), n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. priv. + border.] (Zoöl.) A group of acalephs, including most of the larger jellyfishes; the Discophora.


A"cre (#), n. [OE. aker, AS. æcer; akin to OS. accar, OHG. achar, Ger. acker, Icel. akr, Sw. åker, Dan. ager, Goth. akrs, L. ager, Gr. , Skr. ajra. ?2, 206.]

1. Any field of arable or pasture land. [Obs.]

2. A piece of land, containing 160 square rods, or 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet. This is the English statute acre. That of the United States is the same. The Scotch acre was about 1.26 of the English, and the Irish 1.62 of the English. &hand; The acre was limited to its present definite quantity by statutes of Edward I., Edward III., and Henry VIII. Broad acres, many acres, much landed estate. [Rhetorical] -- God's acre, God's field; the churchyard. I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls The burial ground, God's acre. Longfellow.


A"cre*a*ble (#), a. Of an acre; per acre; as, the acreable produce.


A"cre*age (#), n. Acres collectively; as, the acreage of a farm or a country.


A"cred (#), a. Possessing acres or landed property; -- used in composition; as, large-acred men.


Ac"rid (#), a. [L. acer sharp; prob. assimilated in form to acid. See Eager.]

1. Sharp and harsh, or bitter and not, to the taste; pungent; as, acrid salts.

2. Causing heat and irritation; corrosive; as, acrid secretions.

3. Caustic; bitter; bitterly irritating; as, acrid temper, mind, writing. Acrid poison, a poison which irritates, corrodes, or burns the parts to which it is applied.

acridity, acridness[edit]

A*crid"i*ty (#), Ac"rid*ness (#) n. The quality of being acrid or pungent; irritant bitterness; acrimony; as, the acridity of a plant, of a speech.


Ac"rid*ly (#), adv. In an acid manner.


Ac"ri*mo"ni*ous (#), a. [Cf. LL. acrimonious, F. acrimonieux.]

1. Acrid; corrosive; as, acrimonious gall. [Archaic] Harvey.

2. Caustic; bitter-tempered' sarcastic; as, acrimonious dispute, language, temper.


Ac`ri*mo"ni*ous*ly, adv. In an acrimonious manner.


Ac`ri*mo"ni*ous*ness, n. The quality of being acrimonious; asperity; acrimony.


Ac"ri*mo*ny (#), n.; pl. Acrimonies (#). [L. acrimonia, fr. acer, sharp: cf. F. acrimonie.]

1. A quality of bodies which corrodes or destroys others; also, a harsh or biting sharpness; as, the acrimony of the juices of certain plants. [Archaic] Bacon.

2. Sharpness or severity, as of language or temper; irritating bitterness of disposition or manners. John the Baptist set himself with much acrimony and indignation to baffle this senseless arrogant conceit of theirs. South.


Acrimony, Asperity, Harshness, Tartness. These words express different degrees of angry feeling or language. Asperity and harshness arise from angry feelings, connected with a disregard for the feelings of others. Harshness usually denotes needless severity or an undue measure of severity. Acrimony is a biting sharpness produced by an imbittered spirit. Tartness denotes slight asperity and implies some degree of intellectual readiness. Tartness of reply; harshness of accusation; acrimony of invective. In his official letters he expressed, with great acrimony, his contempt for the king's character. Macaulay. It is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received. Johnson. A just reverence of mankind prevents the growth of harshness and brutality. Shaftesbury.

acrisia, acrisy[edit]

A*cris"i*a (#), Ac"ri*sy (#), n. [LL. acrisia, Gr. ; priv. + to separate, to decide.]

1. Inability to judge.

2. (Med.) Undecided character of a disease. [Obs.]


Ac"ri*ta (#), n. pl. [NL., from Gr. indiscernible; priv. + to distinguish.] (Zoöl.) The lowest groups of animals, in which no nervous system has been observed.


Ac"ri*tan (#), a. (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the Acrita. -- n. An individual of the Acrita.


Ac"rite (#), a. (Zoöl.) Acritan. Owen.


A*crit"ic*al (#), a. [Gr. priv. + critical.] (Med.) Having no crisis; giving no indications of a crisis; as, acritical symptoms, an acritical abscess.


Ac`ri*to*chro"ma*cy (#), n. [Gr. undistinguishable; priv. + to separate, distinguish + color.] Color blindness; achromatopsy.


Ac"ri*tude (#), n. [L. acritudo, from acer sharp.] Acridity; pungency joined with heat. [Obs.]


Ac"ri*ty (#), n. [L. acritas, fr. acer sharp: cf. F. âcreté.] Sharpness; keenness. [Obs.]

acroamatic, acroamatical[edit]

Ac`ro*a*mat"ic (#), Ac`ro*a*mat"ic*al (#), a. [Gr. , fr. to hear.] Communicated orally; oral; -- applied to the esoteric teachings of Aristotle, those intended for his genuine disciples, in distinction from his exoteric doctrines, which were adapted to outsiders or the public generally. Hence: Abstruse; profound.


Ac`ro*at"ic (#), a. [Gr. , fr. to hear.] Same as Acroamatic.


Ac"ro*bat (#), n. [F. acrobate, fr. Gr. walking on tiptoe, climbing aloft; high + to go.] One who practices rope dancing, high vaulting, or other daring gymnastic feats.


Ac`ro*bat"ic (#), a. [Cf. F. acrobatique.] Pertaining to an acrobat. -- Ac`ro*bat"ic*al*ly, adv.


Ac"ro*bat*ism (#), n. Feats of the acrobat; daring gymnastic feats; high vaulting.


Ac`ro*car"pous (#), a. [Gr. extreme, highest + fruit.] (Bot.) (a) Having a terminal fructification; having the fruit at the end of the stalk. (b) Having the fruit stalks at the end of a leafy stem, as in certain mosses.


Ac`ro*ce*phal"ic (#), a. [Gr. highest + . See Cephalic.] Characterized by a high skull.


Ac`ro*ceph"a*ly (#), n. Loftiness of skull.


Ac`ro*ce*rau"ni*an (#), a. [L. acroceraunius, fr. Gr. high, n. pl. heights + thunderbolt.] Of or pertaining to the high mountain range of thunder-smitten" peaks (now Kimara), between Epirus and Macedonia. Shelley.


Ac`ro*dac"tyl*um (#), n. [NL., from Gr. topmost + finger.] (Zoöl.) The upper surface of the toes, individually.


Ac"ro*dont (#), n. [Gr. summit + , , a tooth.] (Zoöl.) One of a group of lizards having the teeth immovably united to the top of the alveolar ridge. -- a. Of or pertaining to the acrodonts.


A*cro"le*in (#), n. [L. acer sharp + olēre to smell.] (Chem.) A limpid, colorless, highly volatile liquid, obtained by the dehydration of glycerin, or the destructive distillation of neutral fats containing glycerin. Its vapors are intensely irritating. Watts.


Ac"ro*lith (#), n. [L. acrolthus, Gr. with the ends made of stone; extreme + stone.] (Arch. & Sculp.) A statue whose extremities are of stone, the trunk being generally of wood. Elmes.

acrolithan, acrolithic[edit]

A*crol"i*than (#), Ac`ro*lith"ic (#), a. Pertaining to, or like, an acrolith.


Ac`ro*meg"a*ly (#), n. [NL. acromegalia, fr. Gr. point, peak + , , big.] (Med.) Chronic enlargement of the extremities and face.


A*cro"mi*al (#), a. [Cf. F. acromial.] (Anat.) Of or pertaining to the acromion. Dunglison.


A*cro"mi*on (#), n. [Gr. ; extreme + shoulder: cf. F. acromion.] (Anat.) The outer extremity of the shoulder blade.


Ac`ro*mon`o*gram*mat"ic (#), a. [Gr. extreme + alone + a letter.] Having each verse begin with the same letter as that with which the preceding verse ends.

acronyc, acronychal[edit]

A*cron"yc (#), A*cron"ych*al (#), a. [Gr. at nightfall; + night.] (Astron.) Rising at sunset and setting at sunrise, as a star; -- opposed to cosmical. &hand; The word is sometimes incorrectly written acronical, achronychal, acronichal, and acronical.


A*cron"yc*al*ly, adv. In an acronycal manner as rising at the setting of the sun, and vise versâ.


Ac"ro*nyc"tous (#), a. [Gr. ; + , , night.] (Astron.) Acronycal.


A*crook" (#), adv. Crookedly. [R.] Udall.


A*crop"e*tal (#), a. [Gr. summit + L. petere to seek.] (Bot.) Developing from below towards the apex, or from the circumference towards the center; centripetal; -- said of certain inflorescence.


A*chroph"o*ny (#), n. [Gr. extreme + sound.] The use of a picture symbol of an object to represent phonetically the initial sound of the name of the object.


Ac`ro*po"di*um (#), n. [Gr. topmost + , , foot.] (Zoöl.) The entire upper surface of the foot.


A*crop"o*lis (#), n. [Gr. ; extreme + city.] The upper part, or the citadel, of a Grecian city; especially, the citadel of Athens.


Ac"ro*pol"i*tan (#), a. Pertaining to an acropolis.


Ac"ro*spire (#), n. [Gr. + anything twisted.] (Bot.) The sprout at the end of a seed when it begins to germinate; the plumule in germination; -- so called from its spiral form.


Ac"ro*spire, Intransitive verb To put forth the first sprout.


Ac"ro*spore (#), n. [Gr. + fruit.] (Bot.) A spore borne at the extremity of the cells of fructification in fungi.


Ac"ro*spor"ous (#), a. Having acrospores.


A*cross" (#; 115), prep. [Pref. a- + cross: cf. F. en croix. See Cross, n.] From side to side; athwart; crosswise, or in a direction opposed to the length; quite over; as, a bridge laid across a river. Dryden. To come across, to come upon or meet incidentally. Freeman. -- To go across the country, to go by a direct course across a region without following the roads.


A*cross", adv.

1. From side to side; crosswise; as, with arms folded across. Shakespeare

2. Obliquely; athwart; amiss; awry. [Obs.] The squint-eyed Pharisees look across at all the actions of Christ. Bp. Hall.


A*cros"tic (#) (#), n. [Gr. ; extreme + order, line, verse.]

1. A composition, usually in verse, in which the first or the last letters of the lines, or certain other letters, taken in order, form a name, word, phrase, or motto.

2. A Hebrew poem in which the lines or stanzas begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular order (as Psalm cxix.). See Abecedarian. Double acrostic, a species of enigma<-- crossword puzzle -->, in which words are to be guessed whose initial and final letters form other words.

acrostic, acrostial[edit]

A*cros"tic (#), A*cros"ti*al (#), n. Pertaining to, or characterized by, acrostics.


A*cros"tic*al*ly, adv. After the manner of an acrostic.


Ac`ro*tar"si*um (#), n. [NL., from Gr. topmost + tarsus.] (Zoöl.) The instep or front of the tarsus. <-- p. 18 -->


Ac`ro*te*leu"tic (#), n. [Gr. extreme + end.] (Eccles.) The end of a verse or psalm, or something added thereto, to be sung by the people, by way of a response.


Ac"ro*ter (#), n. [F. acrot\'8are. See Acroterium.] (Arch.) Same as Acroterium.


Ac`ro*te"ri*al (#), a. Pertaining to an acroterium; as, ornaments. P. Cyc.


Ac`ro*te`ri*um (#), n.; pl. Acrotplwia (#). [L., fr. Gr. summit, fr. topmost.] (Arch.) (a) One of the small pedestals, for statues or other ornaments, placed on the apex and at the basal angles of a pediment. Acroteria are also sometimes placed upon the gables in Gothic architecture. J. H. Parker. (b) One of the pedestals, for vases or statues, forming a part roof balustrade.


A*crot"ic (#), a. [Gr. an extreme, fr. .] (Med.) Pertaining to or affecting the surface.


Ac"ro*tism (#), n. [Gr. priv. + a rattling, beating.] (Med.) Lack or defect of pulsation.


A*crot"o*mous (#), a. [Gr. cut off sharp; extreme + to cut.] (Min.) Having a cleavage parallel with the base.


A*cryl"ic (#), a. (Chem.) Of or containing acryl, the hypothetical radical of which acrolein is the hydride; as, acrylic acid.


Act (#), n. [L. actus, fr. agere to drive, do: cf. F. acte. See Agent.]

1. That which is done or doing; the exercise of power, or the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; a performance; a deed. That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love. Wordsworth. Hence, in specific uses: (a) The result of public deliberation; the decision or determination of a legislative body, council, court of justice, etc.; a decree, edit, law, judgment, resolve, award; as, an act of Parliament, or of Congress. (b) A formal solemn writing, expressing that something has been done. Abbott. (c) A performance of part of a play; one of the principal divisions of a play or dramatic work in which a certain definite part of the action is completed. (d) A thesis maintained in public, in some English universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student.

2. A state of reality or real existence as opposed to a possibility or possible existence. [Obs.] The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterward grow to be. Hooker.

3. Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on the point of (doing). In act to shoot." Dryden. This woman was taken . . . in the very act. John viii. 4. Act of attainder. (Law) See Attainder. -- Act of bankruptcy (Law), an act of a debtor which renders him liable to be adjudged a bankrupt. -- Act of faith. (Ch. Hist.) See Auto-da-Fé. -- Act of God (Law), an inevitable accident; such extraordinary interruption of the usual course of events as is not to be looked for in advance, and against which ordinary prudence could not guard. -- Act of grace, an expression often used to designate an act declaring pardon or amnesty to numerous offenders, as at the beginning of a new reign. -- Act of indemnity, a statute passed for the protection of those who have committed some illegal act subjecting them to penalties. Abbott. -- Act in pais, a thing done out of court (anciently, in the country), and not a matter of record.


-- See Action.


Act, Transitive verb [Imperfect and past participle: Acted;
Present participle: Acting.] [L. actus, p. p. of agere to drive, lead, do; but influenced by E. act, n.]

1. To move to action; to actuate; to animate. [Obs.] Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul. Pope.

2. To perform; to execute; to do. [Archaic] That we act our temporal affairs with a desire no greater than our necessity. Jer. Taylor. Industry doth beget by producing good habits, and facility of acting things expedient for us to do. Barrow. Uplifted hands that at convenient times Could act extortion and the worst of crimes. Cowper.

3. To perform, as an actor; to represent dramatically on the stage.

4. To assume the office or character of; to play; to personate; as, to act the hero.

5. To feign or counterfeit; to simulate. With acted fear the villain thus pursued. Dryden. To act a part, to sustain the part of one of the characters in a play; hence, to simulate; to dissemble. -- To act the part of, to take the character of; to fulfill the duties of.


Act, Intransitive verb

1. To exert power; to produce an effect; as, the stomach acts upon food.

2. To perform actions; to fulfill functions; to put forth energy; to move, as opposed to remaining at rest; to carry into effect a determination of the will. He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest. Pope.

3. To behave or conduct, as in morals, private duties, or public offices; to bear or deport one's self; as, we know not why he has acted so.

4. To perform on the stage; to represent a character. To show the world how Garrick did not act. Cowper. To act as ? for, to do the work of; to serve as. -- To act on, to regulate one's conduct according to. -- To act up to, to equal in action; to fulfill in practice; as, he has acted up to his engagement or his advantages.<-- to act up, to misbehave -->


Act"a*ble (#), a. Capable of being acted. Tennyson.


Ac"ti*nal (#), a. [Gr. , , ray.] (Zoöl.) Pertaining to the part of a radiate animal which contains the mouth. L. Agassiz.


Ac`ti*na"ri*a (#), n. pl. [NL., from Gr. , , ray.] (Zoöl.) A large division of Anthozoa, including those which have simple tentacles and do not form stony corals. Sometimes, in a wider sense, applied to all the Anthozoa, expert the Alcyonaria, whether forming corals or not.


Act"ing (#), a.

1. Operating in any way.

2. Doing duty for another; officiating; as, a superintendent.


Ac*tin"i*a (#), n.; pl. L. Actiniæ (#), E. Actinias (#). [Latinized fr. Gr. , , ray.] (Zoöl.) (a) An animal of the class Anthozoa, and family Actinidæ. From a resemblance to flowers in form and color, they are often called animal flowers and sea anemones. [See Polyp.]. (b) A genus in the family Actinidæ.


Ac*tin"ic (#), a. Of or pertaining to actinism; as, actinic rays.


Ac*tin"i*form (#), a. [Gr. , , ray + -form.] Having a radiated form, like a sea anemone.


Ac"tin*ism (#), n. [Gr. , ray.] The property of radiant energy (found chiefly in solar or electric light) by which chemical changes are produced, as in photography.


Ac*tin"i*um (#), n. [Gr. , , ray.] (Chem.) A supposed metal, said by Phipson to be contained in commercial zinc; -- so called because certain of its compounds are darkened by exposure to light.


Ac`ti*no-chem"is*try (#), n. Chemistry in its relations to actinism. Draper.


Ac*tin"o*graph (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + -graph.] An instrument for measuring and recording the variations in the actinic or chemical force of rays of light. Nichol.


Ac"tin*oid (#), a. [Gr. , , ray + -oid.] Having the form of rays; radiated, as an actinia.


Ac*tin"o*lite (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + -lite.] (Min.) A bright green variety of amphibole occurring usually in fibrous or columnar masses.


Ac`tin*o*lit"ic (#), a. (Min.) Of the nature of, or containing, actinolite.


Ac`ti*nol"o*gy (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + -logy.] The science which treats of rays of light, especially of the actinic or chemical rays.


Ac*tin"o*mere (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + part.] (Zoöl.) One of the radial segments composing the body of one of the Cœlenterata.


Ac`ti*nom"e*ter (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + -meter] (a) An instrument for measuring the direct heating power of the sun's rays. (b) An instrument for measuring the actinic effect of rays of light.


Ac`ti*no*met"ric (#), a. Pertaining to the measurement of the intensity of the solar rays, either (a) heating, or (b) actinic.


Ac`ti*nom"e*try (#), n.

1. The measurement of the force of solar radiation. Maury.

2. The measurement of the chemical or actinic energy of light. Abney.


Ac`ti*noph"o*rous (#), a. [Gr. , , ray + to bear.] Having straight projecting spines.


Ac*tin"o*some (#), n. [Gr. ray + body.] (Zoöl.) The entire body of a cœlenterate.


Ac"tin*ost (#), n. [Gr. , , ray + bone.] (Anat.) One of the bones at the base of a paired fin of a fish.


Ac*tin"o*stome (#), n. [Gr. , , a ray + mouth.] (Zoöl.) The mouth or anterior opening of a cœlenterate animal.


Ac`ti*not"ro*cha (#), n. pl. [NL.; Gr. , , a ray + a ring.] (Zoöl.) A peculiar larval form of Phoronis, a genus of marine worms, having a circle of ciliated tentacles.


Ac"ti*no*zo"a (#), n. pl. [Gr. , , ray + animal.] (Zoöl.) A group of Cœlenterata, comprising the Anthozoa Ctenophora. The sea anemone, or actinia, is a familiar example.


Ac`ti*no*zo"al (#), a. (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the Actinozoa.


Ac"ti*no*zo"ön (#), n. (Zoöl.) One of the Actinozoa.


Ac*tin"u*la (#), n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. , , a ray.] (Zoöl.) A kind of embryo of certain hydroids (Tubularia), having a stellate form.


Ac"tion (#), n. [OF. action, L. actio, fr. agere to do. See Act.]

1. A process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force, as when one body acts on another; the effect of power exerted on one body by another; agency; activity; operation; as, the action of heat; a man of action. One wise in council, one in action brave. Pope.

2. An act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (pl.): Habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor. The Lord is a Good of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 1 Sam. ii. 3.

3. The event or connected series of events, either real or imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.

4. Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.

5. (Mech.) Effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech action of a gun.

6. (Physiol.) Any one of the active processes going on in an organism; the performance of a function; as, the action of the heart, the muscles, or the gastric juice.

7. (Orat.) Gesticulation; the external deportment of the speaker, or the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures, and countenance, to the subject, or to the feelings.

8. (Paint. & Sculp.) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.

9. (Law) (a) A suit or process, by which a demand is made of a right in a court of justice; in a broad sense, a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense. (b) A right of action; as, the law gives an action for every claim.

10. (Com.)A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds; hence, in the plural, equivalent to stocks. [A Gallicism] [Obs.] The Euripus of funds and actions. Burke.

11. An engagement between troops in war, whether on land or water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial action.

12. (Music) The mechanical contrivance by means of which the impulse of the player's finger is transmitted to the strings of a pianoforte or to the valve of an organ pipe. Grove. Chose in action. (Law) See Chose. -- Quantity of action (Physics), the product of the mass of a body by the space it runs through, and its velocity.


-- Action, Act. In many cases action and act are synonymous; but some distinction is observable. Action involves the mode or process of acting, and is usually viewed as occupying some time in doing. Act has more reference to the effect, or the operation as complete. To poke the fire is an act, to reconcile friends who have quarreled is a praiseworthy action. C. J. Smith.


Ac"tion*a*ble (#), a. [Cf. LL. actionabilis. See Action.] That may be the subject of an action or suit at law; as, to call a man a thief is actionable.


Ac"tion*a*bly, adv. In an actionable manner.

Actionary, Actionist[edit]

Ac"tion*a*ry (#), Ac"tion*ist (#), n. [Cf. F. actionnaire.] (Com.) A shareholder in joint-stock company. [Obs.]


Ac"tion*less, a. Void of action.


Ac"ti*vate (#), Transitive verb To make active. [Obs.]


Ac"tive (#), a. [F. actif, L. activus, fr. agere to act.]

1. Having the power or quality of acting; causing change; communicating action or motion; acting; -- opposed to passive, that receives; as, certain active principles; the powers of the mind.

2. Quick in physical movement; of an agile and vigorous body; nimble; as, an active child or animal. Active and nervous was his gait. Wordsworth.

3. In action; actually proceeding; working; in force; -- opposed to quiescent, dormant, or extinct; as, active laws; active hostilities; an active volcano.

4. Given to action; constantly engaged in action; energetic; diligent; busy; -- opposed to dull, sluggish, indolent, or inert; as, an active man of business; active mind; active zeal.

5. Requiring or implying action or exertion; -- opposed to sedentary or to tranquil; as, active employment or service; active scenes.

6. Given to action rather than contemplation; practical; operative; -- opposed to speculative or theoretical; as, an active rather than a speculative statesman.

7. Brisk; lively; as, an active demand for corn.

8. Implying or producing rapid action; as, an active disease; an active remedy.

9. (Gram.) (a) Applied to a form of the verb; -- opposed to passive. See Active voice, under Voice. (b) Applied to verbs which assert that the subject acts upon or affects something else; transitive. (c) Applied to all verbs that express action as distinct from mere existence or state. Active capital, Active wealth, money, or property that may readily be converted into money.


-- Agile; alert; brisk; vigorous; nimble; lively; quick; sprightly; prompt; energetic.


Ac"tive*ly, adv.

1. In an active manner; nimbly; briskly; energetically; also, by one's own action; voluntarily, not passively.

2. (Gram.) In an active signification; as, a word used actively.


Ac"tive*ness, n. The quality of being active; nimbleness; quickness of motion; activity.


Ac*tiv"i*ty (#), n.; pl. Activities (#). [Cf. F. activité, LL. activitas.] The state or quality of being active; nimbleness; agility; vigorous action or operation; energy; active force; as, an increasing variety of human activities. The activity of toil." Palfrey.


-- Liveliness; briskness; quickness.


Act"less (#), a. Without action or spirit. [R.]


Ac"ton (#), n. [OF. aketon, auqueton, F. hoqueton, a quilted jacket, fr. Sp. alcoton, algodon, cotton. Cf. Cotton.] A stuffed jacket worn under the mail, or (later) a jacket plated with mail. [Spelled also hacqueton.] [Obs.] Halliwell. Sir W. Scott.


Ac"tor (#), n. [L. actor, fr. agere to act.]

1. One who acts, or takes part in any affair; a doer.

2. A theatrical performer; a stageplayer. After a well graced actor leaves the stage. Shakespeare

3. (Law) (a) An advocate or proctor in civil courts or causes. Jacobs. (b) One who institutes a suit; plaintiff or complainant.


Ac`tress (#), n. [Cf. F. actrice.]

1. A female actor or doer. [Obs.] Cockeram.

2. A female stageplayer; a woman who acts a part.


Ac"tu*al (#; 135), a. [OE. actuel, F. actuel, L. actualis, fr. agere to do, act.]

1. Involving or comprising action; active. [Obs.] Her walking and other actual performances. Shakespeare Let your holy and pious intention be actual; that is . . . by a special prayer or action, . . . given to God. Jer. Taylor.

2. Existing in act or reality; really acted or acting; in fact; real; -- opposed to potential, possible, virtual, speculative, coceivable, theoretical, or nominal; as, the actual cost of goods; the actual case under discussion.

3. In action at the time being; now exiting; present; as the actual situation of the country. Actual cautery. See under Cautery. -- Actual sin (Theol.), that kind of sin which is done by ourselves in contradistinction to original sin."


-- Real; genuine; positive; certain. See Real.