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English noun: act

1. act (communication) a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body


Broader (hypernym)instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document

Narrower (hyponym)decree, edict, fiat, legislative act, nullity, order, rescript, statute

Domain categoryjurisprudence, law

2. act something that people do or cause to happen

Synonymsdeed, human action, human activity

Broader (hypernym)event

Narrower (hyponym)abidance, acquiring, action, activity, actuation, assessment, assumption, causation, causing, communicating, communication, delivery, departure, derivation, digging up, discovery, disinterment, disposal, disposition, distribution, effectuation, egress, egression, emergence, equalisation, equalization, exhumation, find, forfeit, forfeiture, getting, going, going away, group action, hinderance, hindrance, hire, implementation, inactivity, interference, judgement, judgment, leaning, leaving, legitimation, leveling, mitsvah, mitzvah, motivating, motivation, nonaccomplishment, nonachievement, obstetrical delivery, permissive waste, proclamation, production, promulgation, propulsion, recovery, rejection, residence, residency, retrieval, running away, sacrifice, speech act, stay, stop, stoppage, touch, touching, uncovering, waste, wear, wearing

3. act (communication) a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet

Broader (hypernym)dramatic composition, dramatic work

Part holonymscene

Part meronymballet, concert dance, drama, dramatic play, opera, play

4. act (communication) a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program

SamplesHe did his act three times every evening.
She had a catchy little routine.
It was one of the best numbers he ever did.

Synonymsbit, number, routine, turn

Broader (hypernym)performance, public presentation

Narrower (hyponym)show-stopper, showstopper, stopper

5. act (communication) a manifestation of insincerity

SamplesHe put on quite an act for her benefit.

Broader (hypernym)expression, manifestation, reflection, reflexion

English verb: act

1. act (social) perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

SamplesThink before you act.
We must move quickly.
The governor should act on the new energy bill.
The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel.


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Somebody ----s PP

Narrower (hyponym)acquit, act on, act superior, aggress, alternate, antagonise, antagonize, anticipate, approach, assay, attack, attempt, bear, begin, behave, behave, carry, coact, come close, come forward, come out, come to the fore, commit, comport, comport, condescend, condescend, condescend, conduct, contend, continue, continue, continue, cope, counter, counteract, court, court, create, dally, dare, dare, deal, deal, deign, deport, descend, dispatch, disturb, do well, effect, egotrip, end up, engage, essay, evade, exert, festinate, fetch up, finish, finish up, flirt, force, foresee, forestall, get around to, get by, go, go about, go ahead, go along, go off at half-cock, go off half-cocked, go on, grapple, guard, had best, hasten, hold back, hold off, hurry, interact, interrupt, keep, land up, look sharp, lord it over, lower oneself, make a point, make bold, make do, make out, make sure, manage, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, misbehave, misconduct, misdemean, move, offer, oppose, participate, partner, pay back, perform, perpetrate, persist in, play, play, play, play it by ear, plow ahead, presume, proceed, proceed, prosecute, prosecute, pull, pursue, put on airs, queen it over, race, rampage, react, react, reciprocate, repay, repeat, respond, reward, romance, rush, satisfice, satisfise, seek, set about, sneak, solicit, stampede, start, step forward, step to the fore, step up, stoop, surprise, take, take care, take over, take part, take time by the forelock, take turns, toy, try, use, volunteer, wait, wind up, woo

Antonymsrefrain, forbear

2. act (body) behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself

SamplesYou should act like an adult.
Don't behave like a fool.
What makes her do this way?.
The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people.

Synonymsbehave, do

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s Adjective

Narrower (hyponym)act, act as, act involuntarily, act reflexively, backslap, bend over backwards, bluster, break down, bungle, dally, dawdle, fall over backwards, follow, footle, freeze, frivol, hugger mugger, jest, joke, loosen up, lose it, make, make, make as if, menace, optimise, optimize, piffle, play, play, presume, puff up, quack, rage, ramp, relax, romanticize, sauce, sentimentalise, sentimentalize, sentimentise, sentimentize, snap, stooge, storm, swagger, swash, swell, toy, trifle, vulgarise, vulgarize, wanton

Verb groupact, act, act as, dissemble, play, pretend

3. act (creation) play a role or part

SamplesGielgud played Hamlet.
She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role.
She played the servant to her husband's master.

Synonymsplay, represent

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)re-create

Narrower (hyponym)act out, act out, emote, enact, impersonate, make, make believe, parody, portray, pretend, reenact, support

Verb groupact, act, act as, play, play, play, playact, roleplay

Domain categoryperforming arts

4. act (competition) discharge one's duties

SamplesShe acts as the chair.
In what capacity are you acting?.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)serve

Narrower (hyponym)bank, criticise, criticize

5. act (body) pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind

SamplesHe acted the idiot.
She plays deaf when the news are bad.

Synonymsact as, play

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)act, behave, do

Verb groupact, act, behave, do, play, represent

6. act (stative) be suitable for theatrical performance

SamplesThis scene acts well.

Pattern of useSomething ----s Adjective/Noun

Broader (hypernym)be

Verb groupact, play, playact, roleplay

7. act (social) have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected

SamplesThe voting process doesn't work as well as people thought.
How does your idea work in practice?.
This method doesn't work.
The breaks of my new car act quickly.
The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water.


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Something is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)bring home the bacon, come through, deliver the goods, succeed, win

Verb groupbring, make for, play, work, wreak

8. act (social) be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Narrower (hyponym)drive around, play, walk around

9. act (creation) behave unnaturally or affectedly

SamplesShe's just acting.

Synonymsdissemble, pretend

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s something

Narrower (hyponym)assume, feign, sham, simulate

Verb groupact, behave, do

10. act (creation) perform on a stage or theater

SamplesShe acts in this play.
He acted in `Julius Caesar'.
I played in `A Christmas Carol'.

Synonymsplay, playact, roleplay

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)perform

Narrower (hyponym)ham, ham it up, mime, overact, overplay, pantomime, stooge, underact, underplay

Verb groupact, act, play, play, play, represent

Domain categorydramatic art, dramatics, dramaturgy, theater, theatre

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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