act


act
/ækt / (say akt)

noun
1. anything done or performed; a doing; deed.
2. the process of doing: caught in the act.
3. (often upper case) a decree, edict, law, statute, judgement, resolve, or award, especially a decree passed by a legislature: an act of Parliament.
4. (plural) a formal written record, especially an account of a life: the acts of the saints.
5. one of the main divisions of a play or opera.
6. an individual performance forming part of a variety show, radio program, etc.: a juggling act.
7. behaviour which is contrived and artificial, somewhat in the manner of a theatrical performance: he's not really an ocker – it's just an act.
8. a display of bad temper.
verb (i)
9. to do something; exert energy or force; be employed or operative: her mind acts quickly.
10. to be employed or operate in a particular way; perform specific duties or functions: to act as chairperson.
11. to have effect; perform a function: the medicine failed to act.
12. to perform the function of, substitute for: the stick will act as a lever.
13. to behave: to act well under pressure.
14. to pretend.
15. to perform as an actor: did she ever act on the stage?
16. to be capable of being acted on the stage: his plays don't act well.
verb (t)
17. to represent (an imaginary or historical character) with one's person: to act Macbeth.
18. to feign; counterfeit: to act outraged virtue.
19. to behave as suitable for: to act your age.
20. to behave as: he acted the fool.
21. Obsolete to actuate.
phrase
22. act for, to serve or substitute for.
23. act of defiance, a deliberate action calculated to disobey or offend someone who is attempting to establish their authority.
24. act on (or upon),
a. to act in accordance with; follow: she acted on my suggestion.
b. to affect: alcohol acts on the brain.
25. act out,
a. to give expression to (an idea, emotion, etc.), either consciously (as in acting or mime) or unconsciously.
b. to engage in antisocial or disruptive behaviour as a mechanism for drawing attention to an underlying frustration or anxiety.
26. act up, Colloquial
a. to misbehave.
b. (of a motor vehicle, machine, etc.) to malfunction.
27. bung (or stack) on an act,
a. to display bad temper.
b. to behave in a manner especially put on for the occasion.
28. clean up one's act, Colloquial to improve one's behaviour, practices, etc., to meet an acceptable standard: *League footballers had cleaned up their act since the advent of trial by video –herald, 1990.
29. get one's act together, to become organised and effective.
30. place under the Act, to restrain in accordance with provisions of a particular parliamentary act, as the Act covering mental health.
{Middle English, from Latin actum a thing done, and actus a doing}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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