act out

act out
A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [akt out]
    • /ækt aʊt/
    • /ækt ˈaʊt/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [akt out]
    • /ækt aʊt/

Definitions of act out words

  • phrasal verb act out If you act out an event which has happened, you copy the actions which took place and make them into a play. 3
  • verb act out to reproduce (an idea, former event, etc) in actions, often by mime 3
  • verb act out to express unconsciously (a repressed impulse or experience) in overt behaviour 3
  • noun act out to behave in a way that unconsciously expresses (feelings that were repressed in an earlier situation) 3
  • noun act out anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance: a heroic act. 1
  • noun act out the process of doing: caught in the act. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of act out

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English act(e) (< Middle French) < Latin ācta, plural of āctum something done, noun use of past participle of agere to do (āg- past participle stem + -tum neuter past participle suffix); and directly < Latin āctus a doing (āg- + -tus suffix of v. action)

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Act out


act out popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 100% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

act out usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for act out

verb act out

  • carry on — If you carry on doing something, you continue to do it.
  • rebel — a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country.
  • raise hell — the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus.
  • sow one's wild oats — any uncultivated species of Avena, especially a common weedy grass, A. fatua, resembling the cultivated oat.
  • flag — flagstone (def 1).

Antonyms for act out

verb act out

  • speak — to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice; talk: He was too ill to speak.
  • prevent — to keep from occurring; avert; hinder: He intervened to prevent bloodshed.
  • direct — to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.: He directed the company through a difficult time.
  • fail — to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning.
  • idle — not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers.

See also

Matching words

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