act

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: ACT, act., Act., A.C.T., and A. C. T.

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Old French acte, from Latin ācta (register of events), plural of āctum (decree, law), from agō (put in motion). Compare German Akte (file).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

act (countable and uncountable, plural acts)

  1. (countable) Something done, a deed.
    an act of goodwill
    • (Can we date this quote by Wordsworth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      That best portion of a good man's life, / His little, nameless, unremembered acts / Of kindness and of love.
  2. (obsolete, uncountable) Actuality.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hooker and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • 2012 March 1, William E. Carter, Merri Sue Carter, “The British Longitude Act Reconsidered”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 87:
      But was it responsible governance to pass the Longitude Act without other efforts to protect British seamen? Or might it have been subterfuge—a disingenuous attempt to shift attention away from the realities of their life at sea.
  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.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Lisson Grove Mystery[2]:
      “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what [...] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […]”
    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.
    • 1934, Babette Hughes, One egg: a farce in one act, page 46:
      The minute you let it be known you're planning a sales campaign everybody wants to get into the act.
  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[edit]

Meronyms[edit]

Holonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

act (third-person singular simple present acts, present participle acting, simple 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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jeremy Taylor and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      that we act our temporal affairs with a desire no greater than our necessity
    • (Can we date this quote by Barrow and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Industry doth beget by producing good habits, and facility of acting things expedient for us to do.
    • (Can we date this quote by Cowper and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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).
    • 2011, Effiong Johnson, Play Production Processes, page 180:
      But whatever types he assumes, the need to have a good play which acts delightfully well before the audience, and to their delectation, is the dominant thrust. If the play acts well, the director gets the credits.
  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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Anagrams[edit]


Old Irish[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

act

  1. Alternative spelling of acht (but)

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French acte, from Latin actus.

Noun[edit]

act n (plural acte)

  1. act, deed, action

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Scots[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

act (plural acts)

  1. an act

Verb[edit]

act (third-person singular present acts, present participle actin, past actit, past participle actit)

  1. act
  2. enact
  3. decree

References[edit]


Welsh[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English act.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

act f (plural actau)

  1. act

Derived terms[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal h-prothesis
act unchanged unchanged hact
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950-), “act”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies