1. That which is done or doing; the exercice of strength, or the effect, of which strength exerted is the reason; a performance; a deed. "That excellent portion of a good
man's life, His few, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love." (Wordsworth) Hence, in specific
of popular deliberation; the decision
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.
of a play; one of the principal branches of a play
or dramatic work
in which a determined definite part
of the action
maintained in popular, in some English universities, by a candidate
for a degree, or to show
the proficiency of a student.
2. A state of reality
subsistence as opposed to a possibility or possible subsistence. "The seeds
are not at first
in act, but
in possibility, what they afterward grow
to be." (Hooker)
3. Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on the point
of (doing). "In act
to shoot." "This woman
was taken . . . In the very act." (John viii. 4) Act of attainder.
accident; such extraordinary
interruption of the normal rate
of events as is not to be looked for in advance, and against which usual
prudence could not guard. Act of grace, an expression
often used to identify an act
or amnesty to numerous offenders, as at the beginning of a new
reign. Act of indemnity, a statute passed for the protection of those who
have committed some illegal act
subjecting them to penalties. Act in pais, a thing done out of court (anciently, in the country), and not a matter
Synonym: See Action.
Origin: L. Actus, fr. Agere to drive, do: cf. F. Acte. See Agent.
1. To exert strength; to manufacture an effect; as, the stomach acts upon
2. To perform actions; to fulfill functions; to put forth
energy; to move, as opposed to remaining at rest; to carry into effect
of the will. "He hangs between, in doubt to act
or rest." (Pope)
3. To behave or conduct, as in morals, personal duties, or popular offices; to bear
or deport one's self; as, we know
he has acted so.
4. To perform on the stage; to introduced
a nature. "To show
how Garrick did not act." (Cowper) To act
as or for, to do the work
of; to serve
as. To act
on, to regulate one's conduct according to. To act
up to, to equal
in action; to fulfill in practice; as, he has acted up to his engagement
Source: Websters Vocabulary