A n
1 (action, deed) acte m ; to be in the act of doing être en train de faire ; an act of cruelty/kindness un acte de cruauté/bonté ; it was the act of a madman il fallait être fou pour faire ça ;
2 Jur, Pol (law) (also Act) loi f ; Act of Parliament/Congress loi votée par le Parlement/le Congrès ;
3 Theat acte m ; a play in five acts une pièce en cinq actes ;
4 (entertainment routine) numéro m ; song and dance act numéro m de chant et de danse ; to put on an act fig péj jouer la comédie ; it's all an act c'est de la frime or du cinéma ; to get in on the act s'y mettre ; their company started the trend and now all their rivals want to get in on the act c'est leur entreprise qui a lancé la mode et maintenant tous leurs concurrents veulent s'y mettre aussi.
B vtr Theat jouer [part, role] ; he acted (the part of) the perfect host fig il s'est comporté en hôte irréprochable.
C vi
1 (take action) agir ; we must act quickly il nous faut agir rapidement ; she still believes she was acting for the best elle persiste à penser qu'elle a fait pour le mieux ; they only acted out of fear c'est la peur qui les a fait agir ; to act for sb, to act on behalf of sb agir au nom de or pour le compte de qn ;
2 (behave) agir, se comporter ; to act aggressively towards sb se comporter or agir de manière agressive envers qn ;
3 Theat jouer, faire du théâtre ; fig (pretend) jouer la comédie, faire semblant ; she can't act! Theat elle joue mal!, c'est une mauvaise actrice! ;
4 (take effect) [drug, substance] agir ;
5 (serve) to act as [person, object] servir de ; he acted as their interpreter il leur a servi d'interprète.
to be caught in the act être pris sur le fait or en flagrant délit ; to get one's act together se prendre en main ; it will be a hard act to follow ça sera difficile à égaler.
Phrasal verbs
act on agir conformément à [information] ; tenir compte de [warning] ; suivre [advice].
act out jouer [role, part] ; représenter, reconstituer [event] ; réaliser [fantasy] ; Psych extérioriser, exprimer [impulse, feeling].
act up (misbehave) [person] se tenir mal ; (malfunction) [machine] déconner , être détraqué.

Big English-French dictionary. 2003.

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