Meaning of ACT in English

n. & v.


1. something done; a deed; an action.

2 the process of doing something (caught in the act).

3 a a piece of entertainment, usu. one of a series in a programme. b the performer(s) of this.

4 a pretence; behaviour intended to deceive or impress (it was all an act).

5 a main division of a play or opera.

6 a a written ordinance of a parliament or other legislative body. b a document attesting a legal transaction.

7 (often in pl.) the recorded decisions or proceedings of a committee, an academic body, etc.

8 (Acts) ( in full Acts of the Apostles) the New Testament book relating the growth of the early Church.


1. intr. behave (see how they act under stress).

2 intr. perform actions or functions; operate effectively; take action (act as referee; the brakes failed to act; we must act quickly).

3 intr. (also foll. by on) exert energy or influence (the medicine soon began to act; alcohol acts on the brain).

4 intr. a perform a part in a play, film, etc. b pretend.

5 tr. a perform the part of (acted Othello; acts the fool). b perform (a play etc.). c portray (an incident) by actions. d feign (we acted indifference).

Phrases and idioms:

act for be the (esp. legal) representative of. act of God the operation of uncontrollable natural forces. act of grace a privilege or concession that cannot be claimed as a right. act on (or upon) perform or carry out; put into operation (acted on my advice). act out

1. translate (ideas etc.) into action.

2 Psychol. represent (one's subconscious desires etc.) in action. act up colloq. misbehave; give trouble (my car is acting up again). get one's act together sl. become properly organized; make preparations for an undertaking etc. get into the act sl. become a participant (esp. for profit). put on an act colloq. carry out a pretence.


actable adj. (in sense 5 of v.). actability n. (in sense 5 of v.).

Etymology: ME ult. f. L agere act- do

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.