• Scorpion, in act of "playing."
    Scorpion, in act of "playing."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj acting serving temporarily especially as a substitute "the acting president"
    • n acting the performance of a part or role in a drama
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"The women of Bohemia act as bricklayers' labourers." "The women of Bohemia act as bricklayers' labourers."
From Foxe's 'Actes and Monumentes,' printed by John Day, 1576 From Foxe's 'Actes and Monumentes,' printed by John Day, 1576
Horizontal Direct-Acting Naval Screw-Engine Horizontal Direct-Acting Naval Screw-Engine
Rash Act of Caius Gracchus Rash Act of Caius Gracchus
Mithridates, his rash act Mithridates, his rash act

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: From 1836 to 1896, the Red Flag Act in England required that any self-propelled vehicle be preceded by a man carrying a red flag by day and a red lantern by night. In effect, this limited the speed to four miles per hour and retarded the development of all self-propelled vehicles, including the automobile.
    • Acting Doing duty for another; officiating; as, an acting superintendent.
    • Acting Operating in any way.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In 1649, Massachusetts's Puritan government ruled the following: "Any childe over 16 who shall CURSE or SMITE their natural FATHER or MOTHER, or act in a STUBBORNE or REBELLIOUS manner shall be put to death."
    • acting Performing duty, service, or functions; specifically, performing the functions of an office or employment temporarily: as, an acting governor or mayor; an acting colonel or superintendent. In the United States there is generally some officer of lower grade legally entitled to become the acting incumbent of an important executive office during a temporary vacancy from absence or disability of the elected incumbent. Temporary vacancies in military, judicial, and minor executive offices are usually filled by assignment or appointment.
    • acting Performing, or used in performing, stage-plays.
    • n acting The profession of an actor or player.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Utah a husband is responsible for all criminal acts committed by his wife while she is in his presence.
    • n Acting action: act of performing an assumed or a dramatic part: feigning
    • ***


  • Sir Lawrence Olivier
    Sir Lawrence Olivier
    “I have to act to live.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “I love acting. It is so much more real than life.”
  • Dante Alighieri
    “For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?”
  • Benjamin O. David
    Benjamin O. David
    “The secret of getting things done is to act!”
  • Quintus Ennius
    Quintus Ennius
    “No sooner said than done -- so acts your man of worth.”
  • Anatole France
    “It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.”


Act of God - An act of God is something like an earthquake or floods that human beings cannot prevent or control.
Act of war - An act of war is a action that is either intended to start a war or that is interpreted as being sufficient cause for a war.
Class act - Someone who's a class act is exceptional in what they do.
Get in on the act - If people want to get in on the act, they want to participate in something that is currently profitable or popular.
Hard act to follow - If something or something is exceptionally good, it is difficult to replace them or take their place.
High-wire act - A high-wire act is a dangerous or risky strategy, plan, task, etc.
Read someone the riot act - If you read someone the riot act, you give them a clear warning that if they don't stop doing something, they will be in serious trouble.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. agĕre, actum; Gr. agein, to put in motion; Sans. aj, to drive.


In literature:

His language was often extreme, but he enforced the acts which Congress passed as vigorously as if they had been his own.
"The New Nation" by Frederic L. Paxson
He acted as a man of his capacity and energy might be expected to act.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
He is the judge of his own act, but not of the act of the government in declaring the war.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
As previously mentioned, it is in the testicles that the secretion necessary for the reproductive act is prepared.
"The Sexual Life of the Child" by Albert Moll
This act linked the name of Lincoln with one of the greatest acts in history.
"History Plays for the Grammar Grades" by Mary Ella Lyng
She could only look upon my act with the world's eyes.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
Natural law, as the term is used here, is any statement which describes the behavior of a class of objects or the character of a class of acts.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
For a while Joe had been on the watch for some overt act on the part of Sid or Tonzo that would spoil an act and bring censure down on himself.
"Joe Strong on the Trapeze" by Vance Barnum
And the affair had its influence on the public attitude toward the Stamp Act, five years later.
"The Siege of Boston" by Allen French
That railroads often refuse to recognize or to be responsible for the acts of dishonest agents acting under their authority.
"The Railroad Question" by William Larrabee

In poetry:

They killed the noble Maceo,
The world's in sympathy;
It says that foul act implores
That Cuba must be free.
"Maceo—Cuba's Liberator" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Who, then, is it that hath courage?
He alone who dares
Act up to his own convictions,
And the right declares.
"Who Hath The Courage?" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
Victoria's will I must obey,
She acts without control;
Phillis has such a taking way
She charms my very soul.
"Songs Set To Music: 14. Set" by Matthew Prior
God, when he made each separate
Unfashioned his own act,
Giving the lover eyes,
So his love’s soul be sacked.
"Lovers" by Mary Eliza Fullerton
A new challenge everyday
You keep away and delay;
When I act to close the gap
Fate says there is a bigger play.
"Rubaiyat 07" by Shams al-Din Hafiz
He was an Augur, quite at home
In all things present done,
Deeds past, and every act to come
In ages yet to run.
"Sir Hornbook" by Thomas Love Peacock

In news:

"One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness ,is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.".
The acts include barefoot skiing, a trapeze act, and a human pyramid among other incredible performances.
405(g), Administrative Procedure Act, All Writs Act, In re Chimenti 79 F.3d 534 (6th Cir 1996), Marbury v Madison 5 US (1 Cranch) 137 (1803), Mathews v Eldridge 424 US 319 (1976), McClellan v Young 421 F.2d 690 (6th Cir 1970).
Due to the touring acts there will be a $5 cover (which is way less than you'd pay to see these awesome acts in the Bay).
He also achieved a 36 on ACT Reading and ACT Science.
' Achieve Act' A Republican Answer To Dream Act.
But, as has been said before, the award is for the best acting , not the most acting .
Seeking highly motivated, creative thinkers to intern at the award-winning acting studio for kids and teens, A Class Act NY.
Britney, who is Diamond's mentor, said, "Both acts did an amazing job, but the act I'm sending home is Vino.".
Tim Baysinger December 7, 2012 Broadcasters Need to Look Beyond CALM Act By George Winslow With the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or More.
You know the drill when you go to a concert: Before the headlining act takes the stage, you hear from an opening act or two.
Addis' controversial act was viewed by some as a dangerous act of arson and by others as a subversive protest of how Burning Man had strayed from its core principles.
Some of these were planned, such as the ballet 's much revised first act, choreographed by Bruce Wells, and the reintroduction of the character of Mother Ginger in act two.
ACT Research is maintaining its mildly pessimistic outlook for the US economy, according to the October issue of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, published by ACT Research Company.
Howard Hays , MD, MSPH, is the acting director of the Office of Information Technology and acting chief information officer.

In science:

Let us note that the generalized conformal group S p(2M ) does not act globally on S p(M ) analogously to the usual conformal group acting in the Minkowski space-time by M¨obius transformations which have singularities.
Free Field Dynamics in the Generalized AdS (Super)Space
Note that if a linear automorphism acts unipotently on V , it acts also unipotently on V ∗ .
On linearity of finitely generated R-analytic groups
In other words, the act of “swapping φ1(y ) + c and φ2(y ) becomes then the act of reflecting γ (y ) across the horizontal axis of height c.
Random Surfaces
To each act of measurement carried out at the spacetime point p0 we ascribe a self-adjoint operator Qp0 acting in the Hilbert space Hp0 and ascribe to the spectral theorem for Qp0 the standard interpretation.
Generally covariant Quantum Mechanics
Then c is the unique unipotent G0 -conjugacy class in G which is open dense in ¯Y ω . (b) G0 acts transitively on φ−1 (c). (c) P acts transitively on ¯c1UP ∩ c. (d) We have ¯c1UP ∩ c = c1UP ∩ c. (e) Let g ∈ c1UP ∩ c.
Character sheaves on disconnected groups, II