Act of indemnity
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 of indemnity — Indemnity In*dem ni*ty, n.; pl. {Indemnities}. [L. indemnitas, fr. indemnis uninjured: cf. F. indemnit[ e]. See {Indemnify}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Security; insurance; exemption from loss or damage, past or to come; immunity from penalty, or the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • act of indemnity — index exoneration Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 act of indemnity …   Law dictionary

  • act of indemnity — 1. : an act passed to relieve persons (as officials) from some penalty to which they have become liable by acting illegally or beyond the limits of their powers 2. : an act passed to provide compensation for damage incurred in the service of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • act of indemnity — noun an act of Parliament passed to exempt persons from punishment for illegal actions undertaken in the public interest, as in wartime …   Australian English dictionary

  • act of indemnity — (Law) act or law passed as to relieve people mainly in an official post) from punishment to which they are liable as a result of acting illegally (in case of ministers, as a result of exceeding the limits of their explicit constitutional powers) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • act of indemnity — A statute in aid of officers who have failed to qualify for their offices …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Act of attainder — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Act of bankruptcy — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Act of faith — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Act of God — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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