act */*/*/

I UK [ækt] / US noun
Word forms "act":
singular act plural acts
1) [countable] a single thing that someone does
act of violence/vandalism/terrorism/kindness/bravery/desperation etc:

No act of kindness is ever wasted.

We strongly condemn any act of violence against innocent people.

unlawful/criminal/wrongful/illegal etc act:

groups committing criminal acts

2) [singular] a way of behaving that does not show what someone is really like or what they really feel

She isn't really upset: it's all an act.

put on an act:

She's just putting on an act because the boys are here.

3)
a) [countable] a short performance by a comedian, magician, or other performer

He eats fire as part of his act.

b) a singer, band, or other person or group who performs on stage. Two people who perform together, especially two comedians, are called a double act

They remain one of rock music's most exciting live acts.

4) [countable] one of the parts that a play, opera, or ballet is divided into. Each act is divided into two or more scenes

The scene occurs at the beginning of the first act.

Act 1 Scene 2

5) [countable] a law passed by a country's government

the Data Protection Act

an act of Parliament

balancing/juggling act — a situation in which someone has to do several different things at the same time

Reconciling the demands of work and family is quite a balancing act.

be a hard/tough act to followinformal to do something so well that others who do it after you do not feel very confident about being successful

Ken's a hard act to follow, but I'll do my best.

catch someone in the act (of doing something) — to find someone and interrupt them when they are doing something wrong

He denies all guilt, even though he was caught in the act.


II UK [ækt] / US verb
Word forms "act":
present tense I/you/we/they act he/she/it acts present participle acting past tense acted past participle acted
1)
a) [intransitive] to do something for a particular reason or in a particular way
act in good faith (= believe that you are acting honestly):

We acted in good faith – we did not know the goods were stolen.

act out of necessity/desperation/love/compassion/curiosity etc:

She claims that she acted out of necessity (= because she had to).

b) to do something immediately, especially in order to deal with an urgent problem

Had the paramedics not acted so swiftly, he would have died.

act to do something:

We must act now to prevent further damage to our rainforests.

2) [intransitive] if you act for someone, you do something as their representative
act for:

Lawyers acting for the family will issue a statement this morning.

3)
a) [intransitive] to behave in a particular way, especially a way that is unusual or annoying

Stop acting stupidly!

act like:

I've acted like a total idiot.

act suspiciously/strangely:

A man was seen acting suspiciously twenty minutes before the robbery.

act as if:

Just act as if nothing's happened.

b) to behave in a particular way by doing something
act reasonably/fairly/illegally/responsibly/dishonestly etc:

Did the BBC act reasonably in sacking the journalist?

The court must establish whether the accused acted illegally.

4) [intransitive] to start to have an effect

Don't expect the medicine to act immediately.

act on:

The experiment should show us how sugars act on the enamel of the teeth.

5) [intransitive/transitive] to perform in plays or films

I've always wanted to act.

act the part/role (of someone/something):

Philip Schofield acted the part of Joseph.

Phrasal verbs:

English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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