Word family noun act actioninaction activityinactivity reaction interaction overacting adjective acting activeinactive verb actoveract adverb actively
From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishactact1 /ækt/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 action [countable] one thing that you do The new president’s first act should be to end the war. a thoughtless actact of (doing) something an act of violence her many acts of kindness The act of writing a list can help to calm you the act of doing something (=at the moment that you are doing something) Lindsay paused in the act of putting down the phone.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually say a thoughtless/kind/stupid etc thing to do rather than a thoughtless/kind/stupid etc act.2 law (also Act) [countable] a law that has been officially accepted by Parliament or Congress the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977 an act of Parliament3 pretending [singular] insincere behaviour in which you pretend to have a particular kind of feeling or to be a particular kind of person Mike played the loving husband in front of the children but it was all an act. Be natural. Don’t feel you have to put on an act.4 get your act together5 play [countable] one of the main parts into which a stage play, opera etc is divided I arrived at the theatre late and missed the first act. the beginning of Act 36 performance [countable] a short performance on stage or television by someone who plays music or tells jokes The argument was just part of their act. 7 performer [countable] a performer or a group of performers who perform together The band is one of many acts that have been booked for the concert.8 a hard/tough etc act to follow9 get in on the act10 act of God11 act of worship12 balancing/juggling act13 do a disappearing/vanishing act catch somebody in the act at catch1(3), → clean up your act at clean upCOLLOCATIONSMeaning 1: one thing that you donounsan act of violence/aggressionIncidents of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women were on the act of kindness/loveWe were grateful for her act of act of faith (=when you do something that shows you trust someone completely)The signing of the treaty with Britain was an act of act of terrorism (=when someone kills people or bombs a place for political reasons )It was the worst act of terrorism in US act of vandalism (=when someone deliberately damages things, especially public property )These mindless acts of vandalism affect the whole community. an act of defiance (=when you refuse to obey or respect someone)As an act of defiance Leigh dropped out of high school a month before act of courage/braveryThe men were awarded the medals for acts of courage.adjectivesa criminal/illegal/unlawful actStarting the fire was a highly irresponsible criminal act.a violent/aggressive actWe will track down those responsible for this violent act.terrorist actsterrorists acts like the Oklahoma City bombinga cowardly act (=not at all brave)The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists.a heroic act (=very brave)Ordinary people sometimes find themselves performing heroic acts.a deliberate/conscious actClearly this was a deliberate act of vandalism.a symbolic act (=something you do to express an idea or feeling)The Tibetan climber will pass the Olympic flame to his Chinese partner in a symbolic act of friendship.verbscommit an act formal (=do something wrong or illegal)Anyone committing an illegal act deserves to be punished.perform an act (=do something, especially something difficult or useful)The nurses performed many small acts of kindness. COLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: a law that has been officially accepted by Parliament or Congressverbspass an actOnce Parliament has passed an act, it becomes the law of the land.introduce an actIn 1961, before the Divorce Law Reform Act was introduced, the divorce rate was only 2.1%. amend an act (=make small changes)In 1978 the act was amended to make the earliest mandatory retirement age 70. repeal an act (=officially end it)The Act was repealed by the incoming Labour act becomes lawIn the 40 years since the Abortion Act became law there have been repeated attempts to amend or repeal it. an act comes into forceSince the act came into force, all public buildings must have disabled access. an act prohibits somethingSection 47 of the Act prohibits the making of misleading statements to the police.
Examples from the Corpus
acta one-act playWe condemn all acts of violence, no matter what the reason.Tony tries to be so macho, but it's just an act.Saving the boys from the river was an act of great act of CongressHe was injured in a circus act that went wrong.I recently saw a circus act with contortionists folding themselves in amazing ways.We used to do a comedy act together.Kinison's outrageous comedy acta criminal actThe festival will be an all-day event featuring a lot of different acts.One of his final acts was to take Britain's Nigel Mansell from Williams.When her act split up, he offered her a permanent studio within the premises where she could run her own classes.Part of his act involves dressing up as a woman.In Act 2, Ross and Diane get married.Naming and shaming remains an option should the company not clean up its act.A lawful act such as a killing in self-defence is not an unlawful act for this purpose.Our next act is a young singer all the way from Dallas, Texas.The whole nation is very grateful for the numerous acts of kindness rendered in this time of crisis.Nicasio gave Cecilia poisoned water, believing she would reveal his perfidious acts.the Civil Rights Actthe 1991 Prevention of Terrorism ActThe act of physically putting the drive in the computer is relatively easy.Some lawyers believed this act violated the establishment clause.The Wagner Act prohibited employers from firing workers for joining a union.act of (doing) somethingThe photographs are an act of reclamation of a kind of urban territory that long ago stopped being landscape.It was an act of trust on their part, and it touched me.It is possible for such sentiments of approval of this past to coexist with abhorrence for most current acts of violence.Comfort may come also from acts of sympathy by unknown strangers: cards, signs, flowers upon the water.Today, we rarely think of the act of cooking as something sacred.I've cried a lot while lying on that couch and find that the act of crying is a cathartic release.These are obviously relevant to the act of speaking but could not themselves properly be regarded as components of speech.put on an actDo not put on an act Whatever happens do not try to be some one you are not.But he was in no sense putting on an act.Now Constance began to put on an act.Fontana did not have to put on an act for long: Patrols and operations were daily.He was not prepared to put on an act, to don a tiger skin and go roaring about.
Related topics: Performing
actact2 ●●● S2 W1 verb 1 do something [intransitive]DO something/TAKE ACTION to do something in a particular way or for a particular reason The company acted correctly in sacking him. The jury decided that Walker had acted in self-defence.act to do something The UN must act now to restore democracy. Politicians will only act when enough people demand that they do something.RegisterIn everyday English, people often use expressions like do the right thing or do a brave thing rather than use act with an adverb such as correctly or bravely: They acted correctly in telling her. → They did the right thing in telling her.When act is used alone to mean ‘take action’, in everyday English people usually just say do something:We have to do something now.2 behave [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to behave in a particular way They acted unreasonably when they turned down Jill’s application. He’s been acting strangely ever since his mom died.act as if Pip acted as if he was better than everyone else.act like Stop acting like a baby.act with She acted with dignity.act your age (=used to tell someone to behave in a more adult way, suitable for someone of their age)3 pretend [intransitive, transitive] to pretend to have feelings, qualities etc that are different from your true ones When he’s angry, he acts the fool. That guy is acting crazy.act a part/role Stella felt unnatural in their company, as if she was acting a part.act as if/like Why does he act as if he was stupid?see thesaurus at pretend4 play/filmAPACTOR/ACTRESS [intransitive, transitive] to perform in a play or film I first started acting when I was 12 years old.act a part/role She is acting the role of Lady Macbeth six evenings a week. The movie is very well acted.5 have an effect [intransitive]DO to have an effect or useact as The padding acts as a cushion if the player falls or is hit by the ball.act on Disinfectants act on bacteria in two main ways.6 act for somebody/act on somebody’s behalf act as something act on/upon something act something ↔ out act up
→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
acta fast-acting decongestantThat woman just can't act!The picture has a good script and is wonderfully acted.But it seemed to me that most of us were just acting.But there are many other ways in which we could act.Despite the crisis, the Commission seems unwilling to act.It takes a couple of minutes for the drug to act.As often as not, the government would then act against the loyalists to prevent the increase in tension.Bernard in the twelfth century: The river enters the abbey as much as the well acting as a check allows.It will no longer act as a spring but at least it will give the cabin a more solid base.Morgan Stanley will act as co-global coordinator.She acts as if she owns the place and we're her servants.Even in towns women did not normally act as traders.We must act before the situation gets out of control.Morganstern claims he was acting in self-defense.In recent years Lewis has been acting in television dramas.It is not the world we seem to experience and act in.He has been accused of acting like a dictator.I acted more out of compassion than anything else.The report says the officers acted professionally and responsibly.Larry was acting really weird.Congress must act soon on this vital legislation.You're acting stupid and I don't want to talk to you anymore.Critics accuse the company of acting too slowly in notifying residents of the chemical leak.Tina's been acting very strangely lately.He learned to act when he was in highschool.act to do somethingProperty rights thus have a distributional implication - who compensates whom - but also act to achieve the socially efficient allocation.Meanwhile, government ministers faced calls for their resignation, and Yeltsin acted to ban the more blatant manifestations of opposition activity.It wasn't like him, it was out of character, but she wasn't acting to character either.Congress recently acted to deny trade preferences to countries that fail to meet their legal obligations to end such abusive child labor.The systematic activation of prior knowledge can act to prepare for and deepen the likely response to a text.The statute requires, however, not a threat of immediate danger, but rather an immediate need to act to protect.President Clinton has said he will act to stop the war spreading to Kosovo, but few in Kosovo believe his promises.Crowe brings much more than acting to the role.act as ifA boxing instructor may teach his pupil to strike him in a given way by acting as if hurt.I was not ready to act as if I were dead already.And I could act as if running a new household was an ambition f could concentrate on and fall in love with.She acted as if she were an enfranchised male.He does not, but his genes act as if they do.They acted as if they knew what would happen if they lost, and they were scared to death of it.When practice starts up again after the weekend, Jody acts as if Vanderbilt never happened. act a part/roleAvailable for singing, dancing, acting roles.Hannah Benn knew that she would have to spend her evening acting a part.These were his friends but he felt unnatural in their company, as if he were acting a part.She couldn't be completely spurious; no-one could act a part like that.act a part/roleAvailable for singing, dancing, acting roles.Hannah Benn knew that she would have to spend her evening acting a part.These were his friends but he felt unnatural in their company, as if he were acting a part.She couldn't be completely spurious; no-one could act a part like that.act asThe sugar in the fruit acts as a preservative.
ACTACT /ˌeɪ siː ˈtiː/ 1 the ACT2 the ACTFrom King Business Dictionaryactact1 /ækt/ noun [countable]1LAWa law that has been officially accepted by the governing body of a countryan act to regulate the carrying on of investment businessthe Homeland Security Act of 2002 see also Act of Congress2a written agreement that has legal force consolidating actactact2 verb [intransitive]1act as something to do a particular job or have a particular roleWe will act as the company’s agent for the sale.Mortgage brokers act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders.2act for somebodyLAW if a lawyer acts for someone, he or she represents them in a legal casethe lawyer acting for the insurance company3act on somebody’s behalfCOMMERCELAW to represent someoneThe two parties may agree a price for the land or ask an agent to act on their behalf.4act on something to take action as a result of something that has been said, written, suggested etcCongress is eager to act on the report.The administration hasn’t yet acted on the request.→ See Verb tableOrigin act1 (1300-1400) Latin actus doing, act and actum thing done, record, from the past participle of agere to drive, do