Act Act ([a^]kt), n. [L. actus, fr. agere to drive, do: cf. F. acte. See {Agent}.] 1. That which is done or doing; the exercise of power, or the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; a performance; a deed. [1913 Webster]

That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] Hence, in specific uses: (a) The result of public deliberation; the decision or determination of a legislative body, council, court of justice, etc.; a decree, edit, law, judgment, resolve, award; as, an act of Parliament, or of Congress. (b) A formal solemn writing, expressing that something has been done. --Abbott. (c) A performance of part of a play; one of the principal divisions of a play or dramatic work in which a certain definite part of the action is completed. (d) A thesis maintained in public, in some English universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student. [1913 Webster]

2. A state of reality or real existence as opposed to a possibility or possible existence. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterward grow to be. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

3. Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on the point of (doing). ``In act to shoot.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

This woman was taken . . . in the very act. --John viii. 4. [1913 Webster]

{Act of attainder}. (Law) See {Attainder}.

{Act of bankruptcy} (Law), an act of a debtor which renders him liable to be adjudged a bankrupt.

{Act of faith}. (Ch. Hist.) See {Auto-da-F['e]}.

{Act of God} (Law), an inevitable accident; such extraordinary interruption of the usual course of events as is not to be looked for in advance, and against which ordinary prudence could not guard.

{Act of grace}, an expression often used to designate an act declaring pardon 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. --Abbott.

{Act in pais}, a thing done out of court (anciently, in the country), and not a matter of record. [1913 Webster]

Syn: See {Action}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • act — 1 n 1 a: something done by a person in accordance with his or her free will a tortious act see also actus reus b: the failure to do something that one has a legal duty to do – called also negative act; 2 a …   Law dictionary

  • ACT! — Entwickler Sage Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows Kategorie CRM Software Lizenz proprietär …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • act — ACT, acte, s.n. 1. Document eliberat, emis etc. de o autoritate prin care se arată un fapt, o obligaţie, identitatea cuiva etc. ♢ Act de acuzare = concluzie scrisă întocmită de organele judiciare spre a dovedi vinovăţia cuiva. 2. Manifestare a… …   Dicționar Român

  • Act — oder Act steht für: Act (Musik), Musikformation ACT (Plattenlabel), ein Jazz Platten Label in Feldafing, gegründet von Siegfried Loch ACT!, eine Customer Relationship Management Anwendung ACT (Software), eine CRM Software von Sage (früher von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Act — or ACT may mean:* Act of Parliament (Act of Congress in the USA) a statute or law passed by a legislature. * Act (band), a British band * ACT New Zealand, a New Zealand political party * Act (document), a document recording the legality of a… …   Wikipedia

  • ACT — oder Act steht für: Act (Musik), Musikformation ACT (Plattenlabel), ein Jazz Platten Label in Feldafing, gegründet von Siegfried Loch ACT!, eine Customer Relationship Management Anwendung ACT New Zealand, eine politische Partei in Neuseeland,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Act — 〈[ æ̣kt] m. 6; Jugendspr.〉 1. (bes.) bekannte od. erfolgreiche Popmusikgruppe (MainAct, TopAct) 2. Liveauftritt einer Band (LiveAct) [engl., „Akt, (Programm )Nummer“] * * * Act [ɛkt ], der; s, s [engl. act = Darbietung, Nummer, zu ↑ 1Akt (3)] …   Universal-Lexikon

  • act — n 1 *action, deed Analogous words: performance, accomplishment, achievement (see corresponding verbs at PERFORM): *feat, exploit 2 statute, law, *bill act vb 1 Act, be …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • act — act, action 1. The distinction between the two words in their general meanings is not always clear: we are judged by our acts or by our actions. In general, however, action has more of the notion of performance, and extends to inanimate things… …   Modern English usage

  • act — ► VERB 1) take action; do something. 2) take effect or have a particular effect. 3) behave in a specified way. 4) (act as) fulfil the function of. 5) (act for/on behalf of) represent on a contractual or legal basis. 6) …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”