act - definition and synonyms


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  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. 3
    [countable] a short performance by a comedian, magician, or other performer

    He eats fire as part of his act.

    1. a.
      a singer, band, or other person or group who performs on stage. Two people who perform together, especially two comedians, are called a double act

      They remain one of rock music’s most exciting live acts.

  4. 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.

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

    an act of Parliament