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to act the innocent

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Also see:to | the | innocent

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
-act-, root. 

    -act- comes from Latin, where it has the meaning "to do, move''. It is related to the root -ag-. This meaning is found in such words as: act, action, exact, inexact, transact.

act /ækt/USA pronunciation n. [countable]
  1. anything done or to be done;
    deed:an act of mercy.
  2. the process of doing: caught in the act.
  3. Government[sometimes: Act] a formal decision, law, or the like; a decree or edict:an act of Congress.
  4. Show Businessone of the main divisions of a play or opera: a drama in three acts.
    • a short performance by one or more entertainers, usually part of a variety show, circus, etc.:an acrobatic act.
  5. [usually singular] a display of insincere behavior assumed for effect; pretense:Her apology was all an act.

  • [no object] to do something;
    carry out an action.
  • [no object;
    (~ + on + object)]
    to reach or issue a decision on some matter:Congress failed to act (on the tax bill).
  • [no obj] to operate or function in a particular way:acted as manager.
  • to produce an effect: The medicine failed to act.
  • to conduct oneself in a particular fashion: [no object]acted foolishly.[+ object]to act one's age.
  • [no obj] to pretend; feign:was just acting and wasn't really sorry.
  • Show Businessto perform as an actor: [no object]has acted on Broadway.[+ object]to act Macbeth.
  • act on or upon, [+ on/upon + object]
    • to act in accordance with; follow:will act on (upon) your wishes immediately.
    • to have an effect on;
      affect:The aspirin acted on the pain.
    act out,
    • [ + out + obj] to show or express by gestures or actions:He acted out his frustrations by throwing things.
    • to perform: [ + out + obj]:The students acted out the roles in the play.[ + obj + out]:to act the roles out.
    act up, [no object]
    • to fail to function properly:The car's transmission is acting up.
    • to behave willfully:The tired, cranky child acted up during the wedding.
    • (of a recurring ailment) to become troublesome:His rheumatism is acting up.
    1. Idiomsclean up one's act, to begin to behave in a more socially acceptable way.
    2. Idiomsget or have one's act together, to behave or function responsibly and efficiently.

  • Idioms in the act of, in the process of:was caught in the act of climbing out the window.
  • See -act-.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    act /ækt/ n
    1. something done or performed; a deed
    2. the performance of some physical or mental process; action
    3. (capital when part of a name) the formally codified result of deliberation by a legislative body; a law, edict, decree, statute, etc
    4. (often plural) a formal written record of transactions, proceedings, etc, as of a society, committee, or legislative body
    5. a major division of a dramatic work
    6. a short performance of skill, a comic sketch, dance, etc, esp one that is part of a programme of light entertainment
    7. those giving such a performance
    8. an assumed attitude or pose, esp one intended to impress
    1. (intransitive) to do something; carry out an action
    2. (intransitive) to function in a specified way; operate; react: his mind acted quickly
    3. to perform (a part or role) in a play, etc
    4. (transitive) to present (a play, etc) on stage
    5. (intr; usually followed by for or as) to be a substitute (for); function in place (of)
    6. (intransitive) followed by as: to serve the function or purpose (of)
    7. (intransitive) to conduct oneself or behave (as if one were): she usually acts like a lady
    8. (intransitive) to behave in an unnatural or affected way
    9. (copula) to pose as; play the part of: to act the fool
    10. (copula) to behave in a manner appropriate to (esp in the phrase act one's age)
    11. get in on the actinformal to become involved in a profitable undertaking or advantageous situation in order to share in the benefits
    12. get one's act togetherinformal to become organized or prepared

    See also act on, act upEtymology: 14th Century: from Latin actus a doing, performance, and actum a thing done, from the past participle of agere to do

    ˈactable adj ˌactaˈbility n

    ACT abbreviation for
    1. Australian Capital Territory
    2. (formerly in Britain) advance corporation tax
    ACT /ækt/ n acronym for
    1. (in New Zealand) Association of Consumers and Taxpayers: a small political party of the right

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