Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: actus 'doing, act' and actum 'thing done, record', from the past participle of agere 'to drive, do'

act

1 noun
     
act1 S1 W1
1

action

[countable] one thing that you do:
The new president's first act should be to end the war.
a thoughtless act
act of (doing) something
an act of violence
her many acts of kindness
The act of writing a list can help to calm you down.
in the act of doing something (=at the moment that you are doing something)
Lindsay paused in the act of putting down the phone.
2

law

also Act [countable] a law that has been officially accepted by Parliament or Congress:
the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977
an act of Parliament
3

pretending

[singular] insincere behaviour in which you pretend to have a particular kind of feeling or to be a particular kind of person:
Mike played the loving husband in front of the children but it was all an act.
Be natural. Don't feel you have to put on an act.
4

get your act together

informal to become more organized and behave in a more effective way, especially in order to achieve something:
You need to get your act together if you're going to find the right house to buy.
5

play

[countable] one of the main parts into which a stage play, opera etc is divided:
I arrived at the theatre late and missed the first act.
the beginning of Act 3
6

performance

[countable] a short performance on stage or television by someone who plays music or tells jokes:
The argument was just part of their act.
7

performer

[countable] a performer or a group of performers who perform together:
The band is one of many acts that have been booked for the concert.
8

a hard/tough etc act to follow

someone who does such an excellent job that it would be difficult for someone doing the same job after them to be as good:
He has been a very successful captain and will be a hard act to follow.
9

get in on the act

informal to take part in an activity that someone else has started, especially in order to get a share of the advantages for yourself
10

act of God

an event that is caused by natural forces, such as a storm, flood, or fire, which you cannot prevent or control
11

act of worship

RR an occasion when people pray together and show their respect for God
12

balancing/juggling act

a situation in which you are trying to do several different types of work at the same time

➔ catch somebody in the act

at catch1 (3)

➔ clean up your act

at clean up (3)

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