act out
verb Date: 1611 transitive verb 1. a. to represent in action <
children act out what they read
>
b. to translate into action <
unwilling to act out their beliefs
>
2. to express (as an impulse or a fantasy) directly in overt behavior without modification to comply with social norms intransitive verb to behave badly or in a socially unacceptable often self-defeating manner especially as a means of venting painful emotions (as fear or frustration)

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • act out — {v.} 1. To show an idea, story, or happening by your looks, talk, and movements. * /He tried to act out a story that he had read./ 2. To put into action. * /All his life he tried to act out his beliefs./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • act out — {v.} 1. To show an idea, story, or happening by your looks, talk, and movements. * /He tried to act out a story that he had read./ 2. To put into action. * /All his life he tried to act out his beliefs./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • act out — ( )akt au̇t vt to express (as an impulse or a fantasy) directly in overt behavior without modification to comply with social norms <act out an adolescent fantasy> vi to behave badly or in a socially unacceptable often self defeating manner… …   Medical dictionary

  • act out — index impersonate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • act out — verb 1. represent an incident, state, or emotion by action, especially on stage (Freq. 1) She could act neurotic anxiety • Hypernyms: ↑act, ↑play, ↑represent • Verb Frames: Somebody s something …   Useful english dictionary

  • act out — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms act out : present tense I/you/we/they act out he/she/it acts out present participle acting out past tense acted out past participle acted out 1) to show the events that happened in a situation by doing them… …   English dictionary

  • act out — verb a) To go through the process of a scene from a play, a charade or a pointless exercise. Despite already being aware, he will act out the pretence of a surprise. b) To express ones feelings through disruptive actions. I know youre angry, but… …   Wiktionary

  • act\ out — v 1. To show an idea, story, or happening by your looks, talk, and movements. He tried to act out a story that he had read. 2. To put into action. All his life he tried to act out his beliefs …   Словарь американских идиом

  • act out — PHRASAL VERB If you act out an event which has happened, you copy the actions which took place and make them into a play. [V P n (not pron)] The group acts out the stories in such a way that the members experience really being there. [Also V n P] …   English dictionary

  • act out — to behave badly because you are unhappy or upset. These kids are very angry and act out because their lives are a mess. Etymology: based on the idea of acting out a story (= telling a story through physical actions) …   New idioms dictionary

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