act Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “act” in the English Dictionary

"act" in British English

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actverb

uk   us   /ækt/

act verb (BEHAVE)

[I] to ​behave in the ​stated way: Don't be so ​silly - you're acting like a ​child! He acted as if he'd never ​met me before.
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act verb (DO SOMETHING)

B2 [I] to do something for a ​particularpurpose or to ​solve a ​problem: [+ to infinitive] Engineers acted ​quickly torepair the ​damagedpipes. She acted without ​thinking. Who is acting for/on ​behalf of (= who is ​representing) the ​defendant? He never acts on other people's ​advice (= does what other ​peoplesuggest). Acting on ​impulse (= without ​thinking first) can get you into a lot of ​trouble.
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act verb (HAVE AN EFFECT)

[I] to have an ​effect: The ​anaesthetic acted ​quickly.

act verb (PERFORM)

B1 [I or T] to ​perform a ​part in a ​film, ​play, etc.: Ellis Pike was ​chosen to act the part of the ​lawyer in the ​film. Have you ​ever acted in a ​play before?act the fool, martyr, etc. to ​behave in a ​particular, usually ​bad, way: Why are you always acting the ​fool?
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actnoun

uk   us   /ækt/

act noun (THING DONE)

B2 [C] something that you do: an act ofaggression/​bravery/​madness/​terrorism a ​kind/​thoughtless/​selfish act The ​simple act of ​telling someone about a ​problem can ​help. Primitive ​peopleregardedstorms as an act of ​God. artistic representations of the sexual act
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act noun (PERFORMANCE)

C2 [S] behaviour that ​hidesyourrealfeelings or ​intentions: Was she really ​upset or was that just an act? [C] a ​person or ​group that ​performs a ​shortpiece in a show, or the ​piece that they ​perform: a ​comedy/​juggling/​trapeze act Our next act is a very ​talentedyoungmusician.B1 [C] a ​part of a ​play or opera: Shakespeare's ​plays were written in five acts. The ​hero does not ​enter until the second act/Act Two.
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act noun (LAW)

[C] specialized law a ​law or ​formaldecision made by a ​parliament or other ​group of ​people who make the ​laws for ​theircountry: an Act of Parliament the Betting and Gaming Act Almost two hundred ​suspects were ​detained in the UK last ​year under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The ​statelegislature passed an act ​banning the ​sale of ​automaticweapons.
(Definition of act from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"act" in American English

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actverb

 us   /ækt/

act verb (DO SOMETHING)

[I] to do something for a ​particularpurpose or in a ​particular way: [+ to infinitive] The ​president acted ​quickly to ​bringfederalaid to ​areasdamaged by ​flooding. She acted ​responsibly. He acted as if he’d never ​seen me before. She acted as (= ​performed in the ​position of) a ​tourguide for the ​group. He said he was acting on (= doing something as a ​result of) the ​advice of his ​lawyer.

act verb (PERFORM)

[I/T] to ​perform in a ​movie, ​play, or ​television show: [T] He acts the ​part of a ​small-townlawyer. [I] She has acted in ​lots of ​televisionsitcoms.
Phrasal verbs

actnoun [C]

 us   /ækt/

act noun [C] (LAW)

law a ​law made by ​Congress or another ​legislature: an act of ​Congress

act noun [C] (PERFORM)

one of a set of ​short performances that are ​parts of a show, or the ​person or ​group who ​performs one of these ​parts: a ​circus act fig. His ​story is just an act (= is ​pretended and not ​sincere). An act is also one of the ​mainparts of a ​play or ​opera: The ​play is ​presented in three acts.
(Definition of act from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"act" in Business English

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actnoun

uk   us   /ækt/
[C] something that someone does: A ​partner may be ​heldresponsible for the acts of his co-partners ​committed in the ​name of the ​firm. He has ​led an ​investigation into ​stockmarketmanipulation and various illegal acts and ​swindles.
See also
[C] (also Act) LAW a ​law or ​formal decision made by a ​parliament or other ​group of ​elected law-makers: The 2010 act, with its ​requirement for a ​review of ​financialcontrols, has helped ​drive up the ​cost of ​corporateaudits by as much as 50%.
be a hard/tough act to follow informal to be so good that it is unlikely that anyone or anything that comes after will be as good: The ​company could ​losemomentum without its ​chiefexecutive, who will be a hard act to ​follow.
get in on the act informal mainly UK ( US get into the act) to take ​advantage of or become involved with something that someone else ​started: There's always a debate in the ​machineroom about the ​product, ​long before the ​marketing men and ​editors get in on the act.
get your act together informal to ​organize yourself so that you do things in an ​effective way: Mr Dinsdale said it was crucial that the Department of Trade & Industry got its act together.

actverb [I]

uk   us   /ækt/
to do something with the intention of ​achieving a particular ​result: act to do sth Engineers will need to act quickly to ​repair the ​damaged pipes.act quickly/swiftly/now Anyone who ​wants a fixed-rate ​deal should act now.act decisively/improperly/responsibly It is now ​time for ​management to act decisively.act against/in sb's interests There were ​claims that the ​management was acting against ​shareholders' ​interests. Members should act in the best ​interests of the ​company.
act in good faith to do something believing that it is the ​right thing to do: Although ​errors of ​judgement were made, at all ​times the company's ​staff acted in good ​faith.
(Definition of act from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“act” in Business English

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