Definition Definition

act - Meaning and Examples

Meaning of 'act' (Webster Dictionary)

1 . Act [ n.]
- That which is done or doing; the exercise of power, or the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; a performance; a deed.
- The result of public deliberation; the decision or determination of a legislative body, council, court of justice, etc.; a decree, edit, law, judgment, resolve, award; as, an act of Parliament, or of Congress.
- A formal solemn writing, expressing that something has been done.
- A performance of part of a play; one of the principal divisions of a play or dramatic work in which a certain definite part of the action is completed.
- A thesis maintained in public, in some English universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student.
- A state of reality or real existence as opposed to a possibility or possible existence.
- Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on the point of (doing).
2 . Act [ v. i.]
- To exert power; to produce an effect; as, the stomach acts upon food.
- To perform actions; to fulfill functions; to put forth energy; to move, as opposed to remaining at rest; to carry into effect a determination of the will.
- To behave or conduct, as in morals, private duties, or public offices; to bear or deport one's self; as, we know not why he has acted so.
- To perform on the stage; to represent a character.
3 . Act [ v. t.]
- To move to action; to actuate; to animate.
- To perform; to execute; to do.
- To perform, as an actor; to represent dramatically on the stage.
- To assume the office or character of; to play; to personate; as, to act the hero.
- To feign or counterfeit; to simulate.

Meaning of 'act' (Princeton's WordNet)

1 . act [ n]
Meaning (1):
- a short performance that is part of a longer program
Example in sentence:
  • he did his act three times every evening;
  • it was one of the best numbers he ever did;
  • she had a catchy little routine
Meaning (2):
- a manifestation of insincerity
Example in sentence:
  • he put on quite an act for her benefit
3 . act [ v]
Meaning (3):
- behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself
Example in sentence:
  • Don't behave like a fool;
  • The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people;
  • What makes her do this way?;
  • You should act like an adult
Meaning (4):
- play a role or part
Example in sentence:
  • Gielgud played Hamlet;
  • She played the servant to her husband's master;
  • She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role
Meaning (5):
- perform on a stage or theater
Example in sentence:
  • He acted in `Julius Caesar';
  • I played in `A Christmas Carol';
  • She acts in this play
Meaning (6):
- pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
Example in sentence:
  • He acted the idiot;
  • She plays deaf when the news are bad
Meaning (7):
- have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected
Example in sentence:
  • How does your idea work in practice?;
  • The breaks of my new car act quickly;
  • The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water;
  • The voting process doesn't work as well as people thought;
  • This method doesn't work
Meaning (8):
- discharge one's duties
Example in sentence:
  • In what capacity are you acting?;
  • She acts as the chair
Meaning (9):
- behave unnaturally or affectedly
Example in sentence:
  • She's just acting
Meaning (10):
- perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
Example in sentence:
  • The governor should act on the new energy bill;
  • The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel;
  • think before you act;
  • We must move quickly
Meaning (11):
- be suitable for theatrical performance
Example in sentence:
  • This scene acts well