What is the meaning of act?


  • A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body.
  • Something that people do or cause to happen.
  • A subdivision of a play or opera or ballet.
  • A short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program.
    • usage: "he did his act three times every evening"; "she had a catchy little routine"; "it was one of the best numbers he ever did"
  • A manifestation of insincerity.
    • usage: "he put on quite an act for her benefit"


  • Perform an action, or work out or perform (an action. )
    • usage: "think before you act"; "We must move quickly"; "The governor should act on the new energy bill"; "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
  • Behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself.
    • usage: "You should act like an adult"; "Don't behave like a fool"; "What makes her do this way"; "The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people"
  • Play a role or part.
    • usage: "Gielgud played Hamlet"; "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role"; "She played the servant to her husband's master"
  • Discharge one's duties.
    • usage: "She acts as the chair"; "In what capacity are you acting"
  • Pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind.
    • usage: "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
  • Be suitable for theatrical performance.
    • usage: "This scene acts well"
  • Have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected.
    • usage: "The voting process doesn't work as well as people thought"; "How does your idea work in practice"; "This method doesn't work"; "The breaks of my new car act quickly"; "The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water"
  • Be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure.
  • Behave unnaturally or affectedly.
    • usage: "She's just acting"
  • Perform on a stage or theater.
    • usage: "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"
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APAWordNet. (2010). act. Retrieved April 22, 2019, from http://smartdefine.org/act/definitions/1188681
ChicagoWordNet. 2010. "act" http://smartdefine.org/act/definitions/1188681 (accessed April 22, 2019).
HarvardWordNet 2010, act, Smart Define, viewed 22 April, 2019, <http://smartdefine.org/act/definitions/1188681>.
MLAWordNet. "act" 23 October 2010. Web. 22 April 2019. <http://smartdefine.org/act/definitions/1188681>
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