Acted meaning in english

Acted meaning in english DEFAULT

acted - Meaning in English

Interpreted your input "acted" as "act".

Word Forms / Inflections

acts(noun plural)
acted(verb past tense)
acting(verb present participle)
acts(verb present tense)

Definitions and Meaning of act in English


  1. something that people do or cause to happen
    Synonyms : deed, human action, human activity
  2. a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
    Synonyms : enactment
  3. a short performance that is part of a longer program
    Synonyms : bit, number, routine, turnExamples
    - he did his act three times every evening
    - it was one of the best numbers he ever did
    - she had a catchy little routine
  4. a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet
  5. a manifestation of insincerity
    - he put on quite an act for her benefit
  1. behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself
    Synonyms : behave, doExamples
    - 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
  2. pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
    Synonyms : act as, playExamples
    - He acted the idiot
    - She plays deaf when the news are bad
  3. discharge one's duties
    - In what capacity are you acting?
    - She acts as the chair
  4. play a role or part
    Synonyms : play, representExamples
    - 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
  5. perform on a stage or theater
    Synonyms : play, playact, roleplayExamples
    - He acted in `Julius Caesar'
    - I played in `A Christmas Carol'
    - She acts in this play
  6. behave unnaturally or affectedly
    Synonyms : dissemble, pretendExample
    - She's just acting
  7. perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
    Synonyms : moveExamples
    - 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
  8. be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure
  9. have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected
    Synonyms : workExamples
    - 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
  10. be suitable for theatrical performance
    - This scene acts well

Synonyms of act

deed, human action, human activity, enactment, bit, number, routine, turn, behave, do, act as, play, represent, playact, roleplay, dissemble, pretend, move, work

Antonyms of act

forbear, refrain

More matches for act





Switch to new thesaurus

Noun1.act - a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative bodyact - a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body


legal document, legal instrument, official document, instrument - (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

nullity - something that is null (especially an enactment that has no legal validity)

decree, fiat, edict, rescript, order - a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge); "a friend in New Mexico said that the order caused no trouble out there"

legislative act, statute - an act passed by a legislative body

law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"

2.act - something that people do or cause to happenact - something that people do or cause to happen

human action, human activity, deed

event - something that happens at a given place and time

action - something done (usually as opposed to something said); "there were stories of murders and other unnatural actions"

acquiring, getting - the act of acquiring something; "I envied his talent for acquiring"; "he's much more interested in the getting than in the giving"

causation, causing - the act of causing something to happen

obstetrical delivery, delivery - the act of delivering a child

departure, going, going away, leaving - the act of departing

discovery, find, uncovering - the act of discovering something

disposition, disposal - the act or means of getting rid of something

effectuation, implementation - the act of implementing (providing a practical means for accomplishing something); carrying into effect

egression, egress, emergence - the act of coming (or going) out; becoming apparent

equalisation, equalization, leveling - the act of making equal or uniform

digging up, disinterment, exhumation - the act of digging something out of the ground (especially a corpse) where it has been buried

mitsvah, mitzvah - (Judaism) a good deed performed out of religious duty

actuation, propulsion - the act of propelling

recovery, retrieval - the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)

running away - the act of leaving (without permission) the place you are expected to be

touching, touch - the act of putting two things together with no space between them; "at his touch the room filled with lights"

nonaccomplishment, nonachievement - an act that does not achieve its intended goal

leaning - the act of deviating from a vertical position

motivating, motivation - the act of motivating; providing incentive

assumption - the act of assuming or taking for granted; "your assumption that I would agree was unwarranted"

rejection - the act of rejecting something; "his proposals were met with rejection"

sacrifice, forfeit, forfeiture - the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.

derivation - the act of deriving something or obtaining something from a source or origin

activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"

hire - the act of hiring something or someone; "he signed up for a week's car hire"

wearing, wear - the act of having on your person as a covering or adornment; "she bought it for everyday wear"

judgment, assessment, judgement - the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event; "they criticized my judgment of the contestants"

production - the act or process of producing something; "Shakespeare's production of poetry was enormous"; "the production of white blood cells"

stay - continuing or remaining in a place or state; "they had a nice stay in Paris"; "a lengthy hospital stay"; "a four-month stay in bankruptcy court"

residency, abidance, residence - the act of dwelling in a place

inactivity - being inactive; being less active

interference, hinderance, hindrance - the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding

stop, stoppage - the act of stopping something; "the third baseman made some remarkable stops"; "his stoppage of the flow resulted in a flood"

group action - action taken by a group of people

distribution - the act of distributing or spreading or apportioning

legitimation - the act of rendering a person legitimate; "he has filial rights because he obtained letters of legitimation from the king"; "his parents' subsequent marriage resulted in his legitimation"

permissive waste, waste - (law) reduction in the value of an estate caused by act or neglect

proclamation, promulgation - the formal act of proclaiming; giving public notice; "his promulgation of the policy proved to be premature"

communicating, communication - the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information; "they could not act without official communication from Moscow"

speech act - the use of language to perform some act

3.act - a subdivision of a play or opera or balletact - a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet

ballet, concert dance - a theatrical representation of a story that is performed to music by trained dancers

dramatic composition, dramatic work - a play for performance on the stage or television or in a movie etc.

drama, dramatic play, play - a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"

scene - a subdivision of an act of a play; "the first act has three scenes"

opera - a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes

4.act - a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer programact - a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program; "he did his act three times every evening"; "she had a catchy little routine"; "it was one of the best numbers he ever did"

routine, number, bit, turn

performance, public presentation - a dramatic or musical entertainment; "they listened to ten different performances"; "the play ran for 100 performances"; "the frequent performances of the symphony testify to its popularity"

showstopper, show-stopper, stopper - an act so striking or impressive that the show must be delayed until the audience quiets down

5.act - a manifestation of insincerityact - a manifestation of insincerity; "he put on quite an act for her benefit"

expression, reflexion, reflection, manifestation - expression without words; "tears are an expression of grief"; "the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition"

Verb1.act - perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)act - perform an action, or work out or perform (an action); "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"


take turns, alternate - do something in turns; "We take turns on the night shift"

end up, fetch up, wind up, finish, finish up, land up - finally be or do something; "He ended up marrying his high school sweetheart"; "he wound up being unemployed and living at home again"

festinate, hasten, look sharp, hurry, rush - act or move at high speed; "We have to rush!"; "hurry--it's late!"

interrupt, disturb - destroy the peace or tranquility of; "Don't interrupt me when I'm reading"

react, respond - show a response or a reaction to something

go ahead, plow ahead - proceed (with a plan of action); "He went ahead with the project"

aggress, attack - take the initiative and go on the offensive; "The Serbs attacked the village at night"; "The visiting team started to attack"

force - do forcibly; exert force; "Don't force it!"

create - pursue a creative activity; be engaged in a creative activity; "Don't disturb him--he is creating"

come to the fore, step forward, step to the fore, come forward, step up, come out - make oneself visible; take action; "Young people should step to the fore and help their peers"

pay back, repay, reward - act or give recompense in recognition of someone's behavior or actions

satisfice, satisfise - decide on and pursue a course of action satisfying the minimum requirements to achieve a goal; "optimization requires processes that are more complex than those needed to merely satisfice"

manoeuver, manoeuvre, maneuver - act in order to achieve a certain goal; "He maneuvered to get the chairmanship"; "She maneuvered herself into the directorship"

dispatch - dispose of rapidly and without delay and efficiently; "He dispatched the task he was assigned"

evade - practice evasion; "This man always hesitates and evades"

race - to work as fast as possible towards a goal, sometimes in competition with others; "We are racing to find a cure for AIDS"

use - habitually do something (use only in the past tense); "She used to call her mother every week but now she calls only occasionally"; "I used to get sick when I ate in that dining hall"; "They used to vacation in the Bahamas"

play it by ear - decide on one's actions as one goes along, depending on the situation; "She didn't know what to expect from her new job, so she played it by ear"

play - act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome; "This factor played only a minor part in his decision"; "This development played into her hands"; "I played no role in your dismissal"

deal - take action with respect to (someone or something); "How are we going to deal with this problem?"; "The teacher knew how to deal with these lazy students"

partner - act as a partner; "Astaire partnered Rogers"

exert - make a great effort at a mental or physical task; "exert oneself"

egotrip - act in a way that attracts attention; "This teacher always egotrips and the students don't like him"

reciprocate - act, feel, or give mutually or in return; "We always invite the neighbors and they never reciprocate!"

go, proceed, move - follow a procedure or take a course; "We should go farther in this matter"; "She went through a lot of trouble"; "go about the world in a certain manner"; "Messages must go through diplomatic channels"

come close - nearly do something; "She came close to quitting her job"

perform - perform a function; "Who will perform the wedding?"

dare, make bold, presume - take upon oneself; act presumptuously, without permission; "How dare you call my lawyer?"

engage, pursue, prosecute - carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in; "She pursued many activities"; "They engaged in a discussion"

act on - regulate one's behavior in accordance with certain information, ideas, or advice; "The Founding Fathers acted on certain moral principles"

interact - act together or towards others or with others; "He should interact more with his colleagues"

react, oppose - act against or in opposition to; "She reacts negatively to everything I say"

take time by the forelock - act quickly and decisively; not let slip an opportunity

coact - act together, as of organisms

volunteer, offer - agree freely; "She volunteered to drive the old lady home"; "I offered to help with the dishes but the hostess would not hear of it"

get around to - do something despite obstacles such as lack of time; "He finally got around to painting the windows"

dally, toy, flirt, play - behave carelessly or indifferently; "Play about with a young girl's affection"

go about, set about, approach - begin to deal with; "approach a task"; "go about a difficult problem"; "approach a new project"

refrain, forbear - resist doing something; "He refrained from hitting him back"; "she could not forbear weeping"

2.act - behave in a certain manneract - behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself; "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"

behave, do

act involuntarily, act reflexively - act in an uncontrolled manner

bend over backwards, fall over backwards - try very hard to please someone; "She falls over backwards when she sees her mother-in-law"

presume - take liberties or act with too much confidence

vulgarise, vulgarize - act in a vulgar manner; "The drunkard tends to vulgarize"

optimise, optimize - act as an optimist and take a sunny view of the world

quack - act as a medical quack or a charlatan

menace - act in a threatening manner; "A menacing person"

make - act in a certain way so as to acquire; "make friends"; "make enemies"

bluster, swagger, swash - act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner

freeze - suddenly behave coldly and formally; "She froze when she saw her ex-husband"

wanton - behave extremely cruelly and brutally

romanticize - act in a romantic way

sentimentise, sentimentize, sentimentalise, sentimentalize - act in a sentimental way or indulge in sentimental thoughts or expression

bungle - spoil by behaving clumsily or foolishly; "I bungled it!"

toy, play - engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously; "They played games on their opponents"; "play the stock market"; "play with her feelings"; "toy with an idea"

act as, act, play - pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"

stooge - act as a stooge, in a compliant or subordinate manner; "He stooged for the flamboyant Senator"

jest, joke - act in a funny or teasing way

piffle - act in a trivial or ineffective way

make - behave in a certain way; "make merry"

make as if - begin or appear to begin an action; "He made as if to shake my hand"

pretend, dissemble, act - behave unnaturally or affectedly; "She's just acting"

lose it, break down, snap - lose control of one's emotions; "When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she lost it completely"; "When her baby died, she snapped"

dally, dawdle - waste time; "Get busy--don't dally!"

backslap - display excessive cordiality (towards); "he is always backslapping his colleagues at staff meetings"

hugger mugger - act stealthily or secretively

sauce - behave saucily or impudently towards

footle - act foolishly, as by talking nonsense

frivol, trifle - act frivolously

swell, puff up - become filled with pride, arrogance, or anger; "The mother was swelling with importance when she spoke of her son"

follow - accept and follow the leadership or command or guidance of; "Let's follow our great helmsman!"; "She followed a guru for years"

loosen up, relax - become less tense, less formal, or less restrained, and assume a friendlier manner; "our new colleague relaxed when he saw that we were a friendly group"

rage, ramp, storm - behave violently, as if in state of a great anger

act up - make itself felt as a recurring pain; "My arthritis is acting up again"

3.act - play a role or partact - play a role or part; "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"

play, represent

performing arts - arts or skills that require public performance

act as, act, play - pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"

make believe, pretend, make - represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like; "She makes like an actress"

re-create - create anew; "Re-create the boom of the West on a small scale"

playact, roleplay, act, play - perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"

support - play a subordinate role to (another performer); "Olivier supported Gielgud beautifully in the second act"

play - pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity; "Let's play like I am mommy"; "Play cowboy and Indians"

act out, enact, reenact - act out; represent or perform as if in a play; "She reenacted what had happened earlier that day"

act out - represent an incident, state, or emotion by action, especially on stage; "She could act neurotic anxiety"

impersonate, portray - assume or act the character of; "She impersonates Madonna"; "The actor portrays an elderly, lonely man"

parody - make a spoof of or make fun of

emote - give expression or emotion to, in a stage or movie role

4.act - discharge one's dutiesact - discharge one's duties; "She acts as the chair"; "In what capacity are you acting?"

serve - do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function; "He served as head of the department for three years"; "She served in Congress for two terms"

criticise, criticize - act as a critic; "Those who criticize others often are not perfect, either"

bank - act as the banker in a game or in gambling

5.act - pretend to have certain qualities or state of mindact - pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"

act as, play

behave, act, do - behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself; "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"

act, play, represent - play a role or part; "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"

6.act - be suitable for theatrical performanceact - be suitable for theatrical performance; "This scene acts well"

playact, roleplay, act, play - perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"

be - have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"

7.act - have an effect or outcomeact - have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected; "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"


make for, wreak, bring, work, play - cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"

bring home the bacon, deliver the goods, succeed, win, come through - attain success or reach a desired goal; "The enterprise succeeded"; "We succeeded in getting tickets to the show"; "she struggled to overcome her handicap and won"

8.act - be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasureact - be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure

play - be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children; "The kids were playing outside all day"; "I used to play with trucks as a little girl"

drive around - drive without any particular aim; "we were driving around in the countryside on a fine Sunday morning"

walk around - walk randomly; "We were walking around in the neighborhood to see whether we could find an open drugstore"

9.act - behave unnaturally or affectedlyact - behave unnaturally or affectedly; "She's just acting"

pretend, dissemble

behave, act, do - behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself; "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"

sham, feign, simulate, assume - make a pretence of; "She assumed indifference, even though she was seething with anger"; "he feigned sleep"

10.act - perform on a stage or theateract - perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"

playact, roleplay, play

dramatic art, dramaturgy, theater, theatre, dramatics - the art of writing and producing plays

perform - give a performance (of something); "Horowitz is performing at Carnegie Hall tonight"; "We performed a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera"

play - perform on a certain location; "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"; "She has been playing on Broadway for years"

play - be performed or presented for public viewing; "What's playing in the local movie theater?"; "`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"

act, play, represent - play a role or part; "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"

stooge - act as the stooge; "His role was to stooge for the popular comedian"

pantomime, mime - act out without words but with gestures and bodily movements only; "The acting students mimed eating an apple"

ham, ham it up, overact, overplay - exaggerate one's acting

underact, underplay - act (a role) with great restraint

act - be suitable for theatrical performance; "This scene acts well"

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


verb something, perform, move, function, go about, conduct yourself, undertake somethingI have no reason to doubt that the bank acted properly.

2.behave, react, go about, acquit yourself, bear yourself, comport yourselfa gang of youths who were acting suspiciously, serve, operate, function, be employed, do business, have a job, earn a livingHe acted as both ship's surgeon and as chaplain to the men., seem to be, pose as, pretend to be, posture as, imitate, sham, feign, characterize, enact, personify, impersonate, play the part ofThey were just acting tough.

5.perform, be an actor, be an actress, tread the boards(informal), mimic, mimeShe told her parents of her desire to act.


1.deed, action, step, performance, operation, doing, move, blow, achievement, stroke, undertaking, exploit, execution, feat, accomplishment, exertionMy insurance covers acts of sabotage.

2.pretence, show, front, performance, display, attitude, pose, stance, fake, posture, façade, sham, veneer, counterfeit, feigning, affectation, dissimulationHis anger was real. It wasn't just an act., bill, measure, resolution, decree, statute, ordinance, enactment, edictan Act of Parliament

4.performance, show, turn, production, routine, presentation, gig(informal), sketchNumerous bands are playing, as well as comedy acts.

act for someonestand in for, serve, represent, replace, substitute for, cover for, take the place of, fill in for, deputize for, function in place ofBecause we travel so much, we asked a broker to act for us.

act on or upon something

1.obey, follow, carry out, observe, embrace, execute, comply with, heed, conform to, adhere to, abide by, yield to, act upon, be ruled by, act in accordance with, do what is expectedA patient will usually listen to the doctor's advice and act on it.

2.affect, change, influence, impact, transform, alter, modifyThe drug acts very fast on the central nervous system.

act up

1.misbehave, carry on, cause trouble, mess about, be naughty, horse around(informal), give trouble, piss about(taboo slang), piss around(taboo slang), give someone grief(Brit. & S. African), give botherI could hear him acting up downstairs.

2.malfunction, go wrong, break down, be faulty, stop, stop working, conk out(informal), go phut(informal), pack up(informal), play up(Brit. informal)The machine was acting up again.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The process of doing:


4. A short theatrical piece within a larger production:

sketch, skit.

2. To behave affectedly or insincerely or take on a false or misleading appearance of:

counterfeit, dissemble, fake, feign, play-act, pose, pretend, put on, sham, simulate.

phrasal verb
act up

The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Sours: //
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  2. Steel stand kitchen
  3. Tim white ucr



anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance: a heroic act.

the process of doing: caught in the act.

a formal decision, law, or the like, by a legislature, ruler, court, or other authority; decree or edict; statute; judgment, resolve, or award: an act of Congress.

an instrument or document stating something done or transacted.

one of the main divisions of a play or opera: the second act of Hamlet.

a short performance by one or more entertainers, usually part of a variety show or radio or television program.

the personnel of such a group: The act broke up after 30 years.

false show; pretense; feint: The politician's pious remarks were all an act.

Philosophy. (in scholasticism)
  1. activity in process; operation.
  2. the principle or power of operation.
  3. form as determining essence.
  4. a state of realization, as opposed to potentiality.

verb (used without object)

to do something; exert energy or force; be employed or operative: He acted promptly in the emergency.

to reach, make, or issue a decision on some matter: I am required to act before noon tomorrow.

to operate or function in a particular way; perform specific duties or functions: to act as manager.

to produce an effect; perform a function: The medicine failed to act.

to behave or conduct oneself in a particular fashion: to act well under all conditions.

to pretend; feign: Act interested even if you're bored.

to perform as an actor: He acted in three plays by Molière.

to be capable of being performed: His plays don't act well.

to serve or substitute (usually followed by for): In my absence the assistant manager will act for me.

verb (used with object)

to represent (a fictitious or historical character) with one's person: to act Macbeth.

to feign; counterfeit: to act outraged virtue.

to behave as: He acted the fool.

Obsolete. to actuate.

Verb Phrases

act on / upon
  1. to act in accordance with; follow: He acted on my advice.
  2. to have an effect on; affect: The stirring music acted on the emotions of the audience.
act out,
  1. to demonstrate or illustrate by pantomime or by words and gestures: The party guests acted out stories for one another.
  2. give overt expression to (repressed emotions or impulses) without insightful understanding: The patients acted out early traumas by getting angry with the analyst.
act up,
  1. to fail to function properly; malfunction: The vacuum cleaner is acting up again.
  2. to behave willfully: The children always act up in school the day before a holiday.
  3. to become painful or troublesome, especially after a period of improvement or remission: My arthritis is acting up again this morning.

get / have one's act togetherInformal. to organize one's time, job, resources, etc., so as to function efficiently: The new administration is still getting its act together.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Idioms about act

    act funny, to display eccentric or suspicious behavior.

    act one's age, to behave in a manner appropriate to one's maturity: We children enjoyed our uncle because he didn't always act his age.

    clean up one's act, Informal. to begin adhering to more acceptable practices, rules of behavior, etc.: The factory must clean up its act and treat its employees better.

Origin of act

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English act(e) (from Middle French ), from Latin ācta, plural of āctum “something done,” noun use of past participle of agere “to do” (āg- past participle stem + -tum neuter past participle suffix); and directly from Latin āctus “a doing” (āg- + -tus suffix of verbal action)

synonym study for act

1. See action.


mis·act,verb (used without object)postact,nounpre·act,verb (used with object)un·act·ed,adjective


Other definitions for act (2 of 3)

Trademark. a standardized college admissions test developed by ACT, Inc., measuring English, mathematics, reading, and science skills: originally an abbreviation of American College Testing/American College Test.Compare SAT.

Association of Classroom Teachers.

Australian Capital Territory.

Other definitions for act (3 of 3)





actual. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to act

move, thing, step, action, performance, deed, operation, amendment, statute, decree, bill, measure, law, resolution, scene, show, attitude, respond, do, execute

How to use act in a sentence

  • Outside contributor Daniel Duane traveled to Southern California to talk to Corliss about his latest high-wire act.

    How BASE Jumping Saved Jeb Corliss's Life|Outside Editors|November 18, 2020|Outside Online

  • Servis, a general contractor, was baffled by how introverted Stone acted.

    Hunt for Iraq Vet After Killing Spree|M.L. Nestel|December 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • When they thought about Lewis, what struck the players most was that he never acted like a do-gooder.

    A West Point MVP Who Never Played a Down|Nicolaus Mills|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • LAPD police chief Charlie Beck concluded Corrales and Diego had acted reasonably.

    Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls|Emily Shire|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • But Stephen Kotkin's new biography reveals a learned despot who acted cunningly to take advantage of the times.

    Kotkin Biography Reveals Stalin's Evil Pragmatism|William O’Connor|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • I dressed as a girl, lived as a girl, acted as a girl, and that was that.

    Exclusive: Michael Phelps’s Intersex Self-Proclaimed Girlfriend, Taylor Lianne Chandler, Tells All|Aurora Snow|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Whereas Lessard had acted the martinet with MacRae, he took another tack and became the very essence of affability toward me.

    Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair

  • He acted dejected and dispirited, and if he could have talked would have asked the meaning of it all.

    The Courier of the Ozarks|Byron A. Dunn

  • Mr. Wainwright acted as secretary and I kept the minute book and papers relating to the business of the committee.

    Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland|Joseph Tatlow

  • Thereupon the unhappy woman acted; the long suppressed outburst came at last.

    Dope|Sax Rohmer

  • This was a somewhat singular mode of stimulating, but he deemed it the wisest course, and acted on it.

    Hunting the Lions|R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for act (1 of 3)


something done or performed; a deed

the performance of some physical or mental process; action

(capital when part of a name)the formally codified result of deliberation by a legislative body; a law, edict, decree, statute, etc

(often plural)a formal written record of transactions, proceedings, etc, as of a society, committee, or legislative body

a major division of a dramatic work

  1. a short performance of skill, a comic sketch, dance, etc, esp one that is part of a programme of light entertainment
  2. those giving such a performance

an assumed attitude or pose, esp one intended to impress

philosophyan occurrence effected by the volition of a human agent, usually opposed at least as regards its explanation to one which is causally determinedCompare event (def. 4)


(intr)to do something; carry out an action

(intr)to function in a specified way; operate; reacthis mind acted quickly

to perform (a part or role) in a play, etc

(tr)to present (a play, etc) on stage

(intr; usually foll by for or as)to be a substitute (for); function in place (of)

(intr foll by as) to serve the function or purpose (of)the glass acted as protection

(intr)to conduct oneself or behave (as if one were)she usually acts like a lady

(intr)to behave in an unnatural or affected way

(copula)to pose as; play the part ofto act the fool

(copula)to behave in a manner appropriate to (esp in the phrase act one's age)

(copula)not standardto seem or pretend to beto act tired

clean up one's actto start to behave in a responsible manner

get in on the actinformalto become involved in a profitable undertaking or advantageous situation in order to share in the benefits

get one's act togetherinformalto become organized or prepared

See also act on, act out, act up

Derived forms of act

actable, adjectiveactability, noun

Word Origin for act

C14: from Latin actus a doing, performance, and actum a thing done, from the past participle of agere to do

British Dictionary definitions for act (2 of 3)

abbreviation for

Australian Capital Territory

(formerly in Britain) advance corporation tax

British Dictionary definitions for act (3 of 3)

n acronym for

(in New Zealand) Association of Consumers and Taxpayers: a small political party of the right

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with act

In addition to the idioms beginning with act

  • act of faith
  • act of God
  • act on
  • act one's age
  • act out
  • act up
  • act upon

also see:

  • catch in the act
  • clean up (one's act)
  • do a disappearing act
  • get in the act
  • get one's act together
  • hard (tough) act to follow
  • high-wire act
  • in the act of
  • put on an act

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Learn 60 English Action Verbs In Under 10 Minutes! Acted Out For Easy Memorization!


Meaning in english acted


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