in the act


1

In the process of doing something. For example, The police caught the robber in the act, or I was in the act of closing the window. [Second half of 1600s]

2

Performing sexual intercourse, as in Her father caught them in the act. [Late 1500s]

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Example sentences from the Web for in the act