[[t]ækt[/t]]n.1) anything done, being done, or to be done; deed:an act of mercy[/ex]2) the process of doing:caught in the act[/ex]3) gov a formal decision, law, or the like, by a legislature, ruler, court, or other authority; decree or edict; statute:an act of Congress[/ex]4) an instrument or document stating something done or transacted5) sbz one of the main divisions of a play or opera6)a) sbz a short performance by one or more entertainers, usu. part of a variety show, circus, etcb) sbz the routine or style by which an entertainer or group of entertainers is known:a magic act[/ex]c) sbz the personnel of such a group7) a display of insincere behavior assumed for effect; pretense8) to do something; carry out an action; exert energy or force9) to reach or issue a decision on some matter10) to operate or function in a particular way:to act as manager[/ex]11) to produce an effect:The medicine failed to act[/ex]12) to behave or conduct oneself in a particular fashion13) to pretend; feign14) sbz to perform as an actor15) sbz to be capable of being performed:His plays don't act well[/ex]16) sbz to represent (a fictitious or historical character) with one's person:to act Macbeth[/ex]17) to feign; counterfeit:to act outraged virtue[/ex]18) to behave as:to act the fool[/ex]19) to behave in a manner appropriate to:to act one's age[/ex]20) Obs. to actuate21) cvb act for, to represent, esp. legally22) phv act on or upona) to act in accordance with; followb) to have an effect on; affect23) phv act outa) to illustrate by pantomime or other gesturesb) to express (repressed emotions) inappropriately and without conscious understanding24) phv act upa) to fail to function properly; malfunctionb) to behave willfullyc) (of a recurring ailment) to become painful or troublesome again•Etymology: 1350–1400; ME (< MF) < L ācta, pl. of āctum, n. use of neut. ptp. of agere to drive (cattle), do, perform IIact.active
From formal English to slang. 2014.