Idioms

Origin of act

1350–1400; Middle English act(e) (< Middle French) < Latin ācta, plural of āctum something done, noun use of past participle of agere to do (āg- past participle stem + -tum neuter past participle suffix); and directly < Latin āctus a doing (āg- + -tus suffix of v. action)
SYNONYMS FOR act
4 record.
6 turn, routine.
10–13 perform, function, work. play. 19, 21 play.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for act out (1 of 4)

act out


verb (adverb)

(tr) to reproduce (an idea, former event, etc) in actions, often by mime
psychiatry to express unconsciously (a repressed impulse or experience) in overt behaviour

British Dictionary definitions for act out (2 of 4)

ACT

1

abbreviation for

Australian Capital Territory
(formerly in Britain) advance corporation tax

British Dictionary definitions for act out (3 of 4)

ACT

2
/ (ækt) /

n acronym for

(in New Zealand) Association of Consumers and Taxpayers: a small political party of the right

British Dictionary definitions for act out (4 of 4)

act

/ (ækt) /

noun

verb

See also act on, act out, act up
Derived Formsactable, adjectiveactability, noun

Word Origin for act

C14: from Latin actus a doing, performance, and actum a thing done, from the past participle of agere to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with act out (1 of 2)

act out


1

Perform or portray something or someone, as in As she read to the class, the teacher had each child act out a different character in the story. [c. 1600]

2

Express unconscious feelings or impulses through one's behavior, without being aware of it. For example, She acted out her anger at her father by screaming at her husband. This meaning comes from 20th-century psychological theory and usually (but not always) refers to negative or hostile impulses and emotions. The term is sometimes used without an object to mean “misbehave” or “behave disruptively,” as in The child is acting out in class. [First half of 1900s] In both usages, out means “openly” or “publicly.”

Idioms and Phrases with act out (2 of 2)

act


In addition to the idioms beginning with act

  • 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 Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.