act up

act up
A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [akt uhp]
    • /ækt ʌp/
    • /ækt ʌp/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [akt uhp]
    • /ækt ʌp/

Definitions of act up words

  • phrasal verb act up If something is acting up, it is not working properly. 3
  • phrasal verb act up If a child is acting up, they are behaving badly. 3
  • verb act up to behave in a troublesome way 3
  • noun act up to be playful 3
  • noun act up to misbehave 3
  • noun act up to become inflamed, painful, etc. 3

Information block about the term

Origin of act up

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 up


act up 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 up usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for act up

verb act up

  • 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.
  • act out — If you act out an event which has happened, you copy the actions which took place and make them into a play.
  • 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.

Antonyms for act up

verb act up

  • behave — The way that you behave is the way that you do and say things, and the things that you do and say.

See also

Matching words

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