Entertainment / Literature / Act: A major division in a play. Often, individual acts are divided into smaller units (scenes') that all take place in a specific location. Originally, Greek plays were not divided into acts. They took place as a single whole interrupted occasionally by the chorus's singing. In Roman times, a five-act structure first appeared based upon Horace's recommendations. This five-act structure became a convention of drama (and especially tragedy) during the Renaissance. (Shakespeare's plays have natural divisions that can be taken as the breaks between acts as well, later editors inserted clear 'act' and 'scene' markings in these locations.) From about 1650 CE onward, most plays followed the five-act model. In the 1800s, Ibsen and Chekhov favored a four-act play, and in the 1900s, most playwrights preferred a three-act model, though two-act plays are not uncommon.

Other Words for Act

Act Verb Synonyms: behave (oneself), carry on, deport oneself, comport oneself, conduct oneself
Act Noun Synonyms: deed, action, undertaking, operation, step, move, feat, exploit, accomplishment, achievement

Contractual Plan

Business / Finance / Contractual Plan: The month in which futures contracts may be satisfied by making or accepting a delivery. MORE

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

Life Style / Adoption / Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): The law (P.L. 93-247) that provides a foundation for a national definition of child abuse and neglect. Reauthorized in October 1996 (P.L. 104-235), it was up for reauthorization at the time of publica MORE

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Life Style / Adoption / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A lifelong developmental disability (with onset in infancy, childhood or adolescence) that involves problems with attention span, impulse control, and activity level at home, at school or at work. Typ MORE