Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

act

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun act pronunciation in British English /ækt/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularact
pluralacts
  1. 1
    [countable] a single thing that someone does
    act of violence/vandalism/terrorism/kindness/bravery/desperation etc:

    No act of kindness is ever wasted.

    We strongly condemn any act of violence against innocent people.

    unlawful/criminal/wrongful/illegal etc act:

    groups committing criminal acts

  2. 2
    [singular] a way of behaving that does not show what someone is really like or what they really feel

    She isn't really upset: it's all an act.

    put on an act:

    She's just putting on an act because the boys are here.

  3. 4
    [countable] one of the parts that a play, opera, or ballet is divided into. Each act is divided into two or more scenes

    The scene occurs at the beginning of the first act.

    Act 1 Scene 2

  4. 5
    [countable] a law passed by a country's government

    the Data Protection Act

    an act of Parliament

phrases

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog