From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishactact1 /ækt/ ●●●S1W1 noun1action [countable] one thing that you doThe new president’s first act should be to end the war.a thoughtless actact of (doing) somethingan act of violenceher many acts of kindnessThe act of writing a list can help to calm you down.in 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.2law (also Act) [countable] a law that has been officially accepted by Parliament or Congressthe Housing and Community Development Act of 1977an act of Parliament3pretending [singular]insincere behaviour in which you pretend to have a particular kind of feeling or to be a particular kind of personMike 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 together5play [countable] one of the main parts into which a stage play, opera etc is dividedI arrived at the theatre late and missed the first act.the beginning of Act 36performance [countable] a short performance on stage or television by someone who plays music or tells jokesThe argument was just part of their act.7performer [countable] a performer or a group of performers who perform togetherThe 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 actat catch1(3), → clean up your actat clean upCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: one thing that you donounsan act of violence/aggressionIncidents of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women were on the increase.an act of kindness/loveWe were grateful for her act of kindness.an act of faith (=when you do something that shows you trust someone completely)The signing of the treaty with Britain was an act of faith.an act of terrorism (=when someone kills people or bombs a place for political reasons )It was the worst act of terrorism in US history.an 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 graduation.an 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.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 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 government.an 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.
actact2 ●●●S2W1 verb1do something [intransitive]DO something/TAKE ACTION to do something in a particular way or for a particular reasonThe company acted correctly in sacking him.The jury decided that Walker had acted in self-defence.act to do somethingThe 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.2behave [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to behave in a particular wayThey acted unreasonably when they turned down Jill’s application.He’s been acting strangely ever since his mom died.act as ifPip acted as if he was better than everyone else.act likeStop acting like a baby.act withShe acted with dignity.act your age (=used to tell someone to behave in a more adult way, suitable for someone of their age)3pretend [intransitive, transitive] to pretend to have feelings, qualities etc that are different from your true onesWhen he’s angry, he acts the fool.That guy is acting crazy.act a part/roleStella felt unnatural in their company, as if she was acting a part.act as if/likeWhy does he act as if he was stupid?► see thesaurus at pretend4play/filmAPACTOR/ACTRESS [intransitive, transitive] to perform in a play or filmI first started acting when I was 12 years old.act a part/roleShe is acting the role of Lady Macbeth six evenings a week.The movie is very well acted.5have an effect [intransitive]DO to have an effect or useact asThe padding acts as a cushion if the player falls or is hit by the ball.act onDisinfectants 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
act• a fast-acting decongestant• That 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 vitallegislation.• You're actingstupid and I don't want to talk to you anymore.• Critics accuse the company of acting too slowly in notifying residents of the chemicalleak.• Tina's been acting very strangely lately.• He learned to act when he was in highschool.act to do something• Property rights thus have a distributional implication - who compensates whom - but also act to achieve the socially efficientallocation.• Meanwhile, government ministers faced calls for their resignation, and Yeltsin acted toban the more blatantmanifestations of opposition activity.• It wasn't like him, it was out of character, but she wasn't acting to character either.• Congress recently acted todeny trade preferences to countries that fail to meet their legal obligations to end such abusive child labor.• The systematic activation of priorknowledge can act to prepare for and deepen the likely response to a text.• The statute requires, however, not a threat of immediatedanger, 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 if• A boxing instructor may teach his pupil to strike him in a given way by acting as ifhurt.• I was not ready to act as if I were dead already.• And I could act as if running a new household was an ambitionf could concentrate on and fall in love with.• She acted as if she were an enfranchisedmale.• He does not, but his genesact 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/role• Available 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/role• Available 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 as• The sugar in the fruitacts 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 alsoAct 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 tableOriginact1(1300-1400)Latinactus“doing, act” and actum“thing done, record”, from the past participle of agere“to drive, do”