Verb act Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


act (third-person singular simple present acts, present participle acting, simple past and past participle acted)

  1. (intransitive) To do something.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To do (something); to perform.
  3. (intransitive) To perform a theatrical role.
  4. (intransitive) To behave in a certain way.
  5. (copulative) To convey an appearance of being.
  6. To do something that causes a change binding on the doer.
  7. (intransitive, construed with on or upon) To have an effect (on).
  8. (transitive) To play (a role).
  9. (transitive) To feign.
  10. (mathematics, intransitive, construed with on or upon, of a group) To map via a homomorphism to a group of automorphisms (of).
  11. (obsolete, transitive) To move to action; to actuate; to animate.

More definition:

1.anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance, a heroic act.

2.the process of doing, caught in the act.

3.a formal decision, law, or the like, by a legislature, ruler, court, or other authority; decree or edict; statute; judgment, resolve, or award, an act of Congress. instrument or document stating something done or transacted. of the main divisions of a play or opera, the second act of Hamlet.

6.a short performance by one or more entertainers, usually part of a variety show or radio or television program.

7.the personnel of such a group, The act broke up after 30 years.

8.false show; pretense; feint, The politician's pious remarks were all an act.

9.Philosophy. activity in process; operation. the principle or power of operation. form as determining essence. a state of realization, as opposed to potentiality. do something; exert energy or force; be employed or operative, He acted promptly in the emergency.1 reach, make, or issue a decision on some matter, I am required to act before noon tomorrow.1 operate or function in a particular way; perform specific duties or functions, to act as manager.1 produce an effect; perform a function, The medicine failed to act.1 behave or conduct oneself in a particular fashion, to act well under all conditions.1 pretend; feign, Act interested even if you're bored.1 perform as an actor, He acted in three plays by Molière.1 be capable of being performed, His plays don't act well.1 serve or substitute (usually followed by for), In my absence the assistant manager will act for me.
1 represent (a fictitious or historical character) with one's person, to act Macbeth. feign; counterfeit, to act outraged virtue.2 behave as, He acted the fool.2

2.Obsolete. to actuate.

3.act on/upon, to act in accordance with; follow, He acted on my have an effect on; affect, The stirring music acted on the emotions of the audience. 2

4.act out, to demonstrate or illustrate by pantomime or by words and gestures, The party guests acted out stories for one another.Psychology. to give overt expression to (repressed emotions or impulses) without insightful understanding, The patients acted out early traumas by getting angry with the analyst. 2

5.act up, to fail to function properly; malfunction, The vacuum cleaner is acting up behave willfully, The children always act up in school the day before a become painful or troublesome, especially after a period of improvement or remission, My arthritis is acting up again this morning. 2

6.get/have one's act together, Informal. to organize one's time, job, resources, etc., so as to function efficiently, The new administration is still getting its act together.

7.act funny, to display eccentric or suspicious behavior. 2

8.act one's age, to behave in a manner appropriate to one's maturity, We children enjoyed our uncle because he didn't always act his age.2

9.clean up one's act, Informal. to begin adhering to more acceptable practices, rules of behavior, etc., The factory must clean up its act and treat its employees better.

1.Trademark. a standardized college admissions test developed by ACT, Inc., measuring English, mathematics, reading, and science skills, originally an abbreviation of American College Testing/American College Test. Compare SAT.

2.Association of Classroom Teachers.

3.Australian Capital Territory.



1. something done or performed; a deed

2. the performance of some physical or mental process; action

3. (capital when part of a name) the formally codified result of deliberation by a legislative body; a law, edict, decree, statute, etc

4. (often pl) a formal written record of transactions, proceedings, etc, as of a society, committee, or legislative body

5. a major division of a dramatic work

6.a short performance of skill, a comic sketch, dance, etc, esp one that is part of a programme of light entertainment those giving such a performance

7. an assumed attitude or pose, esp one intended to impress

8. (philosophy) an occurrence effected by the volition of a human agent, usually opposed at least as regards its explanation to one which is causally determined Compare event (sense 4) verb

9. (intransitive) to do something; carry out an action

10. (intransitive) to function in a specified way; operate; react, his mind acted quickly1
1. to perform (a part or role) in a play, etc1

2. (transitive) to present (a play, etc) on stage1

3. (intransitive; usually foll by for or as) to be a substitute (for); function in place (of)1

4. (intransitive) foll by as. to serve the function or purpose (of), the glass acted as protection1

5. (intransitive) to conduct oneself or behave (as if one were), she usually acts like a lady1

6. (intransitive) to behave in an unnatural or affected way1

7. (copula) to pose as; play the part of, to act the fool1

8. (copula) to behave in a manner appropriate to (esp in the phrase act one's age)1

9. (copula) (not standard) to seem or pretend to be, to act tired

20. clean up one's act, to start to behave in a responsible manner2
1. (informal) get in on the act, to become involved in a profitable undertaking or advantageous situation in order to share in the benefits2

2. (informal) get one's act together, to become organized or prepared See also act on, act out, act up Derived Formsactable, adjectiveactability, noun Word OriginC14, from Latin actus a doing, performance, and actum a thing done, from the past participle of agere to do ACT1 abbreviation
1. Australian Capital Territory

2. (formerly in Britain) advance corporation tax ACT2 /ækt/ noun acronym
1. (in New Zealand) Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, a small political party of the right Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
late 14c., "a thing done," from Old French acte "(official) document," and directly from Latin actus "a doing, a driving, impulse; a part in a play, act," and actum "a thing done," originally a legal term, both from agere "to do, set in motion, drive, urge, chase, stir up," from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move" (cf. Greek agein "to lead, guide, drive, carry off," agon "assembly, contest in the games," agogos "leader;" Sanskrit ajati "drives," ajirah "moving, active;" Old Norse aka "to drive;" Middle Irish ag "battle").Theatrical ("part of a play," 1510s) and legislative (early 15c.) senses of the word also were in Latin. Meaning "display of exaggerated behavior" is from 192

8. In the act "in the process" is from 1590s, perhaps originally from the 16c. sense of the act as "sexual intercourse." Act of God "uncontrollable natural force" recorded by 172

6.An act of God is an accident which arises from a cause which operates without interference or aid from man (1 Pars. on Cont. 635); the loss arising wherefrom cannot be guarded against by the ordinary exertions of human skill and prudence so as to prevent its effect. [William Wait, "General Principles of the Law," Albany, 1879]
mid-15c., "to act upon or adjudicate" a legal case; 1590s in the theatrical sense, from Latin actus, past participle of agere (see act (n.)). To act up "be unruly" is from 190

3. To act out "behave anti-socially" (1974) is from psychiatric sense of "expressing one's unconscious impulses or desires." Related, Acted; acting.

1. a trademark for a standardized college entrance examination; originally American College Test

2. American Conservatory Theater

3. Waco Regional Airport act.
1. acting

2. action

3. active

4. actively

5. actor

6. actual

7. actuary The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third EditionCopyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Cite This Source
act of faith act of God act on act one's age act out act up act upon also see, catch in the act clean up (one's act) do a disappearing act get in the act get one's act together hard (tough) act to follow high-wire act in the act of put on an act The American Heritage® Idioms DictionaryCopyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Cite This Source


He did not act as if it was bothering him.

Anyway, I only act fifteen, I'm really 19.

Adrienne shucked her coat and tried to act nonchalant in spite of the warmth in her cheeks.

Anyway, why do men have to act on every idea that crosses their mind?

I suppose I do enjoy the work, and I try to act respectful to all our customers.

I'm here in one piece, sort of, and you've given me a clean slate to begin act two of my life.

Even the Black God didn't normally act so brashly.

"The vamps have been conducting surveillance on us for weeks, but they just now started to act up," Rainy continued.

"Demons don't act like that," Wynn said then addressed Selyn.

Before his mind had a chance to act, two yellow beams of a headlight broke around the curve of the roadway a half-mile below him and began a slow climb to where he stood.

You act like you've been shut out of your underworld or your mate made a deal with Darkyn and turned into someone else.

All that was left was the physical act of being gone.

How long until he kicked her out of the apartment, the final act of abandonment after disrupting everything in her life?

"I.d prefer you didn.t act like such an ass around here," Kris muttered as one of the servants dropped a tray of dishes at the sight of the massive cat.

"What brought you back?" was the next question, and Dorothy's eye rested on an antlered head hanging on the wall just over the fireplace, and caught its lips in the act of moving.

For the other day, when you sat at dinner with your officers, I noticed that the wine made you act queerly.

So they threw their sabots, a kind of clog shoe, into the machinery to break it—an act that gave us the word sabotage.

The mere spelling is, of course, no more a conscious act than it is in writing.

There is no stopping to read the riot act, no firing over the heads of the mob, in this case.

He took the glove in silence from the aide-de- camp, and sat down in the lady's chair, placing his huge hands symmetrically on his knees in the naive attitude of an Egyptian statue, and decided in his own mind that all was as it should be, and that in order not to lose his head and do foolish things he must not act on his own ideas tonight, but must yield himself up entirely to the will of those who were guiding him.

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