act

[[t]æ̱kt[/t]]
acts, acting, acted
1) VERB When you act, you do something for a particular purpose.

The deaths occurred when police acted to stop widespread looting and vandalism...

[V adv/prep] I have no reason to doubt that the bank acted properly in the best interests of the depositors.

2) VERB If you act on advice or information, you do what has been advised or suggested.

[V on/upon n] A patient will usually listen to the doctor's advice and act on it.

3) VERB If someone acts in a particular way, they behave in that way.

[V adv] ...a gang of youths who were acting suspiciously...

[V as if] He acted as if he hadn't heard any of it...

[V like n] Open wounds act like a magnet to flies in hot weather.

Syn:
4) VERB If someone or something acts as a particular thing, they have that role or function.

[V as/like n] Among his other duties, he acted both as the ship's surgeon and as chaplain for the men.

[V as/like n] ...the Cunard Princess, which acted as a support ship for American forces.

5) VERB If someone acts in a particular way, they pretend to be something that they are not.

[V adj] Chris acted astonished as he examined the note...

[V n] Kenworthy had tried not to act the policeman.

6) VERB When professionals such as lawyers act for you, or act on your behalf, they are employed by you to deal with a particular matter.

[V for n] Daniel Webster acted for Boston traders while still practicing in New Hampshire...

[V prep] Because we travelled so much, Sam and I asked a broker to act on our behalf.

7) VERB If a force or substance acts on someone or something, it has a certain effect on them.

[V on/upon n] He's taking a dangerous drug: it acts very fast on the central nervous system...

[V on/upon n] A hypnotist can act upon the unconscious mind directly. [Also V]

8) VERB If you act, or act a part in a play or film, you have a part in it.

She confessed to her parents her desire to act...

[V in n] Roberto introduced Ingrid to Helen, whose husband was acting in Roberto's films. [Also V n]

9) N-COUNT: oft N of n An act is a single thing that someone does. [FORMAL]

Language interpretation is the whole point of the act of reading...

My insurance excludes acts of sabotage and damage done by weapons of war.

10) N-SING If you say that someone's behaviour is an act, you mean that it does not express their real feelings.

There were moments when I wondered: did she do this on purpose, was it all just a game, an act?...

His anger was real. It wasn't an act.

Syn:
11) N-COUNT An Act is a law passed by the government.

...an Act of Parliament.

12) N-COUNT: oft N num An act in a play, opera, or ballet is one of the main parts into which it is divided.

Act II contained one of the funniest scenes I have ever witnessed...

13) N-COUNT An act in a show is a short performance which is one of several in the show.

This year numerous bands are playing, as well as comedy acts...

14) PHRASE: V inflects If you catch someone in the act, you discover them doing something wrong or committing a crime.

The men were caught in the act of digging up buried explosives.

15) PHRASE: V inflects If someone who has been behaving badly cleans up their act, they start to behave in a more acceptable or responsible way. [INFORMAL]

The nation's advertisers need to clean up their act.

16) PHRASE: V inflects If you get in on the act, you take part in or take advantage of something that was started by someone else. [INFORMAL]

In the 1970s Kodak, anxious to get in on the act, launched its own instant camera.

17) PHRASE: v-link PHR -ing You say that someone was in the act of doing something to indicate what they were doing when they were seen or interrupted.

Ken was in the act of paying his bill when Neil came up behind him.

18) PHRASE: V inflects If you get your act together, you organize your life or your affairs so that you are able to achieve what you want or to deal with something effectively. [INFORMAL]

The Government should get its act together...

We have to get our act together - we have to organize ourselves.

19) act one's agesee age
act the foolsee fool
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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