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act Idioms & Phrases


act as

  • verb function as or act like
    • This heap of stones will act as a barrier
  • verb pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
    play; act.
    • He acted the idiot
    • She plays deaf when the news are bad
WordNet

Act in pais

  • a thing done out of court (anciently, in the country), and not a matter of record.
Webster 1913

act involuntarily

  • verb act in an uncontrolled manner
    act involuntarily.
WordNet

Act of attainder

  • . (Law) See Attainder.
Webster 1913

Act of bankruptcy

  • (Law), an act of a debtor which renders him liable to be adjudged a bankrupt.
Webster 1913

Act of faith

  • . (Ch. Hist.) See Auto-da-Fé.
Webster 1913

Act of God

  • noun a natural and unavoidable catastrophe that interrupts the expected course of events
    force majeure; inevitable accident; unavoidable casualty; vis major.
    • he discovered that his house was not insured against acts of God
WordNet
  • (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.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

Act of indemnity

  • a statute passed for the protection of those who have committed some illegal act subjecting them to penalties. Abbott.
Webster 1913

act of terrorism

  • noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
    terrorism; act of terrorism.
WordNet

act on

  • verb carry further or advance
    pursue; follow up on.
    • Can you act on this matter soon?
  • verb regulate one's behavior in accordance with certain information, ideas, or advice
    • The Founding Fathers acted on certain moral principles
WordNet

act out

  • verb represent an incident, state, or emotion by action, especially on stage
    • She could act neurotic anxiety
  • verb act out; represent or perform as if in a play
    reenact; enact.
    • She reenacted what had happened earlier that day
WordNet

act reflexively

  • verb act in an uncontrolled manner
    act involuntarily.
WordNet

act superior

  • verb act like the master of
    lord it over; put on airs; queen it over.
    • He is lording it over the students
WordNet

act up

  • verb misbehave badly; act in a silly or improper way
    carry on.
    • The children acted up when they were not bored
  • verb make itself felt as a recurring pain
    • My arthritis is acting up again
WordNet

act upon

  • verb have and exert influence or effect
    work; influence.
    • The artist's work influenced the young painter
    • She worked on her friends to support the political candidate
WordNet

acting out

  • noun a (usually irritating) impulsive and uncontrollable outburst by a problem child or a neurotic adult
  • noun (psychiatry) the display of previously inhibited emotions (often in actions rather than words); considered to be healthy and therapeutic
WordNet

acts of the apostles

  • noun a New Testament book describing the development of the early church from Christ's Ascension to Paul's sojourn at Rome
    Acts.
WordNet

Back-acting, ∨ Back-action, steam engine

  • a steam engine in which the motion is transmitted backward from the crosshead to a crank which is between the crosshead and the cylinder, or beyond the cylinder.
Webster 1913

Black act

  • the English statute 9 George I, which makes it a felony to appear armed in any park or warren, etc., or to hunt or steal deer, etc., with the face blackened or disguised. Subsequent acts inflicting heavy penalties for malicious injuries to cattle and machinery have been called black acts.
Webster 1913

class act

  • noun someone who shows impressive and stylish excellence
WordNet

create by mental act

  • verb create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands
    create mentally.
WordNet

creating by mental acts

  • noun the act of creating something by thinking
WordNet

Declaratory act

  • (Law), an act or statute which sets forth more clearly, and declares what is, the existing law.
Webster 1913

direct-acting

Di*rect"-act`ing adjective
Definitions
  1. (Mach.) Acting directly, as one part upon another, without the intervention of other working parts.
Webster 1913

Direct-acting steam engine

  • one in which motion is transmitted to the crank without the intervention of a beam or lever; also called direct-action steam engine.
Webster 1913

Direct-acting steam pump

  • one in which the steam piston rod is directly connected with the pump rod; also called direct-action steam pump.
Webster 1913

double-acting

Dou"ble-act`ing adjective
Definitions
  1. Acting or operating in two directions or with both motions; producing a twofold result; as, a double-acting engine or pump.
Webster 1913

enabling act

  • noun a provision in a law that confers on appropriate officials the power to implement or enforce the law
    enabling clause.
WordNet

fair-trade act

  • noun formerly a state law that protected manufacturers from price-cutting by allowing them to set minimum retail prices for their merchandise; eliminated by the United States Congress in 1975
WordNet

foreign intelligence surveillance act

  • noun an act passed by Congress in 1978 to establish procedures for requesting judicial authorization for foreign intelligence surveillance and to create the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; intended to increase United States counterintelligence; separate from ordinary law enforcement surveillance
    FISA.
WordNet

legislative act

  • noun an act passed by a legislative body
    statute.
WordNet

long-acting

  • adjective satellite active over a long period of time
WordNet

method acting

  • noun an acting technique introduced by Stanislavsky in which the actor recalls emotions or reactions from his or her own life and uses them to identify with the character being portrayed
    method.
WordNet

Mutiny act

  • (Law), an English statute reënacted annually to punish mutiny and desertion.
Webster 1913

occupational safety and health act

  • noun a law passed by the United States Congress that created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment
    federal job safety law.
WordNet

Private actstatute

  • a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community also, private law vs. public law .
Webster 1913

Public actstatute

  • (Law), an act or statute affecting matters of public concern. Of such statutes the courts take judicial notice.
Webster 1913

racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act

  • noun law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; RICO; anti-racketeering law.
WordNet

Reform acts

  • (Eng. Politics), acts of Parliament passed in 1832, 1867, 1884, 1885, extending and equalizing popular representation in Parliament.
Webster 1913

rico act

  • noun law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; RICO; anti-racketeering law.
WordNet

riot act

  • noun a vigorous reprimand
    • I read him the riot act
  • noun a former English law requiring mobs to disperse after a magistrate reads the law to them
WordNet

Schism act

  • (Law), an act of the English Parliament requiring all teachers to conform to the Established Church, passed in 1714, repealed in 1719.
Webster 1913

self-acting

  • adjective satellite designed to activate or move or regulate itself
    self-regulating; self-moving; self-activating.
    • a self-activating sprinkler system
WordNet
Self`-act"ing adjective
Definitions
  1. Acting of or by one's self or by itself; -- said especially of a machine or mechanism which is made to perform of or for itself what is usually done by human agency; automatic; as, a self-acting feed apparatus; a self-acting mule; a self-acting press.
Webster 1913

sex act

  • noun the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's penis is inserted into the woman's vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur
    congress; intercourse; sexual intercourse; sexual relation; carnal knowledge; sexual congress; relation; copulation; coitus; coition.
WordNet

single-acting

Sin"gle-act`ing adjective
Definitions
  1. Having simplicity of action; especially (Mach.), acting or exerting force during strokes in one direction only; -- said of a reciprocating engine, pump, etc.
Webster 1913

special act

  • noun a legislative act that applies only to a particular person or particular district
WordNet

speech act

  • noun the use of language to perform some act
WordNet

Stamp act

  • noun an act passed by the British Parliament in 1756 that raised revenue from the American Colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents; opposition by the Colonies resulted in the repeal of the act in 1766
WordNet
  • an act of the British Parliament [1765] imposing a duty on all paper, vellum, and parchment used in the American colonies, and declaring all writings on unstamped materials to be null an void.
Webster 1913

terrorist act

  • noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
    terrorism; act of terrorism.
WordNet

Test act

  • (Eng. Law), an act of the English Parliament prescribing a form of oath and declaration against transubstantiation, which all officers, civil and military, were formerly obliged to take within six months after their admission to office. They were obliged also to receive the sacrament according to the usage of the Church of England. Blackstone.
Webster 1913

To act a part

  • to sustain the part of one of the characters in a play; hence, to simulate; to dissemble.
Webster 1913

To act asfor

  • to do the work of; to serve as.
Webster 1913

To act on

  • to regulate one's conduct according to.
Webster 1913

To act on the offensive

  • to be the attacking party.
Webster 1913

To act the part of

  • to take the character of; to fulfill the duties of.
Webster 1913

To act up to

  • to equal in action; to fulfill in practice; as, he has acted up to his engagement or his advantages. to act up, to misbehave
Webster 1913

To play possum, To act possum

  • to feign ignorance, indifference or inattention, with the intent to deceive; to dissemble; in allusion to the habit of the opossum, which feigns death when attacked or alarmed.
Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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