Meaning of ACT in English


I. ˈakt noun

Etymology: Middle English, partly from Latin actus doing, act, from agere to drive, do; partly from Latin actum thing done, record, from neuter of actus, past participle of agere — more at agent

Date: 14th century


a. : the doing of a thing : deed

b. : something done voluntarily

2. : a state of real existence rather than possibility

3. : the formal product of a legislative body : statute ; also : a decision or determination of a sovereign, a legislative council, or a court of justice

4. : the process of doing : action

caught in the act

5. often capitalized : a formal record of something done or transacted

6. : one of the principal divisions of a theatrical work (as a play or opera)


a. : one of successive parts or performances (as in a variety show or circus)

b. : the performer or performers in such an act

c. : a performance or presentation identified with a particular individual or group

d. : the sum of a person's actions or effects that serve to create an impression or set an example

a hard act to follow

8. : a display of affected behavior : pretense

- into the act


Date: 1590

transitive verb

1. obsolete : actuate , animate


a. : to represent or perform by action especially on the stage

b. : feign , simulate

c. : impersonate

3. : to play the part of as if in a play

act the man of the world

4. : to behave in a manner suitable to

act your age

intransitive verb


a. : to perform on the stage

b. : to behave as if performing on the stage : pretend

2. : to take action : move

think before act ing

act ed favorably on the recommendation

3. : to conduct oneself : behave

act like a fool

4. : to perform a specified function : serve

trees act ing as a windbreak

5. : to produce an effect : work

wait for a medicine to act

6. of a play : to be capable of being performed

the play act s well

7. : to give a decision or award

adjourned without act ing on the bill

• act·abil·i·ty ˌak-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē noun

• act·able ˈak-tə-bəl adjective

III. abbreviation

1. active

2. actor

3. actual

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.