ETYM Latin actus, from agere to drive, do: cf. French acte. Related to Agent.
1. Something that people do or cause to happen; SYN. human action, human activity.
2. A manifestation of insincerity.
3. A short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program; SYN. routine, number, turn, bit.
4. A subdivision of a play or opera or ballet.
5. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body; SYN. enactment.
In drama, the principal division of a play, usually marking a change of location, time, or mood. Acts are subdivided into scenes. All Shakespeare's plays are printed in five acts. The majority of modern plays are divided into three acts.
ETYM Old Eng. decre, French décret, from Latin decretum, neut. decretus, p. p. of decernere to decide; de- + cernere to decide. Related to Certain, Decreet, Decretal.
A legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge); SYN. edict, fiat, order, rescript.