- activity in process; operation.
- the principle or power of operation.
- form as determining essence.
- a state of realization, as opposed to potentiality.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to act in accordance with; follow: He acted on my advice.
- to have an effect on; affect: The stirring music acted on the emotions of the audience.
- 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.
- to fail to function properly; malfunction: The vacuum cleaner is acting up again.
- to behave willfully: The children always act up in school the day before a holiday.
- to become painful or troublesome, especially after a period of improvement or remission: My arthritis is acting up again this morning.
Origin of act
British Dictionary definitions for act up (1 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for act up (2 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for act up (3 of 4)
n acronym for
British Dictionary definitions for act up (4 of 4)
- 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
Word Origin for act
Idioms and Phrases with act up (1 of 2)
Misbehave. For example, With an inexperienced rider, this horse always acts up. [c. 1900]
Malfunction, as in I'm not sure what's wrong with my car, but the transmission is acting up. In both usages up means “abnormally.”
Idioms and Phrases with act up (2 of 2)
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
- 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