AskDefine | Define act

Dictionary Definition

act

Noun

1 a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body [syn: enactment]
2 something that people do or cause to happen [syn: human action, human activity]
3 a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet
4 a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program; "he did his act three times every evening"; "she had a catchy little routine"; "it was one of the best numbers he ever did" [syn: routine, number, turn, bit]
5 a manifestation of insincerity; "he put on quite an act for her benefit"

Verb

1 perform an action, or work out or perform (an action); "think before you act"; "We must move quickly"; "The governor should act on the new energy bill"; "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel" [syn: move] [ant: refrain]
2 behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself; "You should act like an adult"; "Don't behave like a fool"; "What makes her do this way?"; "The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people" [syn: behave, do]
3 play a role or part; "Gielgud played Hamlet"; "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role"; "She played the servant to her husband's master" [syn: play, represent]
4 discharge one's duties; "She acts as the chair"; "In what capacity are you acting?"
5 pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad" [syn: play, act as]
6 be suitable for theatrical performance; "This scene acts well"
7 have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected; "The voting process doesn't work as well as people thought"; "How does your idea work in practice?"; "This method doesn't work"; "The breaks of my new car act quickly"; "The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water" [syn: work]
8 be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure
9 behave unnaturally or affectedly; "She's just acting" [syn: dissemble, pretend]
10 perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'" [syn: play, roleplay, playact]

User Contributed Dictionary

see ACT

English

Etymology

From acta#Latin, plural of actum, from ago#Latin.

Pronunciation

  • /ækt/, /

Extensive Definition

Act or ACT may mean:

See also

act in Danish: Handling
act in German: Handlung
act in Spanish: Acto
act in Galician: Acto
act in Italian: Atto
act in Japanese: アクト
act in Polish: Akt (ujednoznacznienie)
act in Simple English: Act

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accomplish, accomplished fact, accomplishment, achieve, achievement, acquit, act, act a part, act as, act as foil, act out, acta, acting, action, actions, activism, activity, acts, address, adventure, affect, affectation, afterpiece, air, ape, appear, assume, barnstorm, be effective, be in action, be productive, bear, bearing, behave, behavior, behavior pattern, behavioral norm, behavioral science, bill, bit, blow, bluff, bring about, bring into being, bring to fruition, bylaw, canon, carriage, carry, cause, characterize, chaser, come out, comport, comportment, concurrent resolution, conduct, constitution, copy, counterfeit, coup, course, cover up, culture pattern, curtain, curtain call, curtain raiser, custom, dealings, decree, deed, demean, demeanor, deport, deportment, dictate, dictation, discourse, dissemble, dissimulate, divertimento, divertissement, do, doing, doings, edict, effectuate, effort, emote, emotionalize, employment, enact, enaction, enactment, endeavor, engineer, enterprise, epilogue, execute, exercise, exode, exodus, exploit, expository scene, fait accompli, fake, feat, feign, finale, folkway, form, formality, formula, formulary, four-flush, function, functioning, gammon, gest, gestures, get top billing, go, go on, goings-on, guise, hand, handiwork, have effect, have free play, have play, hoke act, impersonate, industrialize, institution, interlude, intermezzo, intermission, introduction, job, joint resolution, jus, law, lawmaking, legislation, legislature, let on, let on like, lex, maintien, make, make a pretense, make as if, make believe, make like, maneuver, manner, manners, masquerade, masquerade as, mass-produce, measure, method, methodology, methods, mien, militate, mime, mimic, misbehave, modus vivendi, motion, motions, move, movements, moves, number, observable behavior, occupation, officiate, operate, operation, operations, ordinance, ordonnance, overproduce, overt act, pantomime, pass for, passage, passing, patter, pattern, percolate, perform, performance, perk, personate, play, play a part, play possum, play the lead, playact, poise, port, portray, pose, pose as, posture, practice, praxis, prescript, prescription, presence, pretend, pretend to be, procedure, proceed, proceeding, process, produce, production, profess, prologue, put on, quit, react, realize, register, regulation, represent, res gestae, resolution, routine, rubric, rule, ruling, run, scene, serve, sham, shtick, simulate, sketch, skit, social science, song and dance, stand-up comedy act, standing order, star, statute, steal the show, step, stooge, striptease, stroke, stunt, style, swing, tactics, take, take effect, take off, thing, thing done, tick, tone, tour de force, transaction, tread the boards, troupe, turn, undertaking, upstage, volume-produce, way, way of life, ways, work, working, workings, works
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