serving temporarily, especially as a substitute during another's absence; not permanent; temporary: the acting mayor.
designed, adapted, or suitable for stage performance.
provided with detailed stage directions for the performer: an acting version of a play.


the art, profession, or activity of those who perform in stage plays, motion pictures, etc.

Origin of acting

First recorded in 1595–1605; act + -ing2, -ing1
Related formspro·act·ing, adjectiveun·act·ing, adjective

Synonyms for acting Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pro-acting


adjective (prenominal)

taking on duties temporarily, esp as a substitute for anotherthe acting president
operating or functioningan acting order
intended for stage performance; provided with directions for actorsan acting version of ``Hedda Gabler''


the art or profession of an actor
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

Word Origin and History for pro-acting



1590s, "putting forth activity," present participle adjective from act (v.). Meaning "performing temporary duties" is from 1797.



c.1600, "performance of deeds;" 1660s, "performance of plays;" verbal noun from present participle of act (v.). Acting out in psychology is from 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper