n. An exertion of energy or force, physical or mental; anything that is done or performed; a doing or deed; an operation or performance.n. A state of real existence, as opposed to a possibility, power, or being in germ merely; actuality; actualization; entelechy.n. The soul, according to the Aristotelians, is the act, that is, is the entelechy or perfect development of the body. So God is said to be pure act, for Aristotle says, “There must be a principle whose essence it is to be actual (η%148ς ἠ ον)σία ἐνε)ργεια),” and this is by many writers understood to mean “whose essence is to be active.” In the phrase in act, therefore, act, though properly meaning actuality, is often used to mean activity.n. A part or division of a play performed consecutively or without a fall of the curtain, in which a definite and coherent portion of the plot is represented: generally subdivided into smaller portions, called scenes.n. The result of public deliberation, or the decision of a prince, legislative body, council, court of justice, or magistrate; a decree, edict, law, statute, judgment, resolve, or award: as, an act of Parliament or of Congress; also, in plural, proceedings; the formal record of legislative resolves or of the doings of individuals.n. In universities, a public disputation or lecture required of a candidate for a degree of master.n. [Such a synopsis (cedula), stating the time of studies, the acts made, and the degrees taken by the candidate, and duly sworn to, had usually been required in universities since the middle ages.]n. In law, an instrument or deed in writing, serving to prove the truth of some bargain or transaction: as, I deliver this as my act and deed.n. In theology, something done at once and once for all, as distinguished from a work.To do, perform, or transact.To represent by action; perform on or as on the stage; play, or play the part of; hence, feign or counterfeit: as, to act Macbeth; to act the lover, or the part of a lover.To perform the office of; assume the character of: as, to act the hero.To put in action; actuate.To do something; exert energy or force in any way: used of anything capable of movement, either original or communicated, or of producing effects. SpecificallyTo put forth effort or energy; exercise movement or agency; be employed or operative: as, to act vigorously or languidly; he is acting against his own interest; his mind acts sluggishly.To exert influence or produce effects: perform a function or functions; operate: as, praise acts as a stimulant; mind acts upon mind; the medicine failed to act; the brake refused to act, or to act upon the wheels.To be employed or operate in a particular way; perform specific duties or functions: as, a deputy acts for or in place of his principal; he refused to act on or as a member of the committee.To perform as an actor; represent a character; hence, to feign or assume a part: as, he acts well; he is only acting.He is a man of sentiment, and acts up to the sentiments he professes. Sheridan, School for Scandal, i. 2. Synonyms Act, Work, Operate. These words agree in expressing the successful exertion of power. In their intransitive use they are sometimes interchangeable: as, a medicine acts, works, or operates; a plan works or operates. Where they differ, act may more often refer to a single action or to the simpler forms of action: as, a machine works well when all its parts act. Act may also be the most general, applying to persons or things, the others applying generally to things. Operate, may express the more elaborate forms of action. Work may express the more powerful kinds of action: as, it worked upon his mind.n. A second act (1890) which provided for an annual appropriation, to be increased in ten years from $15,000 to a permanent sum of $25,000 from the proceeds of the sale of public land, for the more complete endowment of these institutions. This income could be applied only to instruction (with facilities) in agriculture, the mechanic arts, the English language, and other branches directly related to industrial life.