- 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
Synonyms for act
Related Words for actedrespond, do, execute, develop, pursue, create, move, serve, begin, undertake, function, operate, enforce, appear, perform, react, behave, conduct, seem, enact
Examples from the Web for acted
Contemporary Examples of acted
LAPD police chief Charlie Beck concluded Corrales and Diego had acted reasonably.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls
December 4, 2014
But Stephen Kotkin's new biography reveals a learned despot who acted cunningly to take advantage of the times.Kotkin Biography Reveals Stalin's Evil Pragmatism
November 30, 2014
I dressed as a girl, lived as a girl, acted as a girl, and that was that.Exclusive: Michael Phelps’s Intersex Self-Proclaimed Girlfriend, Taylor Lianne Chandler, Tells All
November 26, 2014
Finally, we get to the question of whether Wilson acted reasonably?Why Darren Wilson Will Walk
November 22, 2014
The caregiver Fatu had acted fast – the temperature reading on the Thursday night was high.The Life of a Liberian Child with Ebola
November 5, 2014
Historical Examples of acted
No sooner did the thought occur to him than he acted upon it.Brave and Bold
He had acted "in obedience to the clear and imperious call of public obligation."The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Here they all dismounted, except a small body, which acted as cavalry.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
Our friend will overlook the matter if you do but say that you have acted in heat and haste.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
The way you acted when you first run round with me, I thought you sure was a suffragette.Within the Law
n acronym for
- 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
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 1903. To act out "behave anti-socially" (1974) is from psychiatric sense of "expressing one's unconscious impulses or desires." Related: Acted; acting.
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 1928. 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 1726.
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]
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