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Act, subst. 1) deed, action: “thy brother was a furtherer in the a.” Tp. V, 73. “the tyrannous and bloody a. is done,” R3 IV, 3, 1 (Qq deed). Meas. V, 456. Merch. IV, 1, 19. Alls II, 1, 155. II, 3, 143. III, 7, 7. III, 7, 7 Tw. IV, 3, 35 (cf. Rom. II, 6, 1). Wint. II, 1, 181. III, 2, 52. John III, 4, 149. IV, 2, 18. IV, 3, 135. R2 IV, 138. H4B Chor. R2 IV, 138 II, 3, 21. IV, 2, 117. H5 I, 2, 231. H6A II, 2, 35. H6B I, 1, 194. III, 2, 118. R3 IV, 4, 280. H8 I, 2, 85. Troil. I, 3, 348. II, 2, 119. III, 3, 131. Cor. I, 2, 5. V, 2, 15. V, 2, 15 Caes. III, 1, 166. Tit. V, 1, 64. Rom. III, 3, 110. Mcb. I, 7, 40. IV, 1, 149. Hml. I, 5, 84. III, 3, 91. III, 4, 40. III, 4, 40 V, 1, 11. V, 2, 392. Lr. II, 4, 114. III, 4, 90. III, 7, 87. IV, 2, 74. Oth. III, 3, 134. IV, 2, 163. V, 2, 190. V, 2, 190 V, 2, 190 Ant. I, 2, 148. III, 1, 13 “(make).” IV, 8, 12. V, 1, 22. V, 2, 288. V, 2, 288 Cymb. II, 1, 66. III, 2, 21. III, 3, 53. III, 4, 94. Per. I, 1, 73. I, 2, 18. V, 1, 140.* Used of cohabitation: “the a. of lust,” Lucr. 1636. “the a. of fornication,” Meas. V, 70. “the a. of sport,” Oth. II, 1, 230. And simply “the a.:” Lucr. 199. Lucr. 199 Lucr. 199 Lucr. 199 Lucr. 199 Sonn. 152, 3. Meas. II, 3, 26. Troil. III, 2, 90.
2) doing, performing, being active: “age wore us out of a.” Alls I, 2, 30. “all your --s are queens,” Wint. IV, 4, 146. “sets it in a. and use,” H4B IV, 3, 126. “the honour of it does pay the a. of it,” H8 III, 2, 182. “in his particular a. and place,” Hml. I, 3, 26 (i. e. the peculiar line of conduct prescribed to him by his rank. “Ff sect and force).” Alls IV, 3, 55. John III, 3, 57. V, 1, 45. H5 I, 2, 189. H6B V, 3, 10. Troil. III, 2, 96. Cor. I, 9, 19. Tim. V, 1, 26. Ant. II, 2, 46. Ant. II, 2, 46 II, 7, 84. Cymb. V, 3, 29. to be or stand in a. or in the a. == to go forward: Merch. I, 3, 84. Oth. I, 1, 152.
3) agency, operation: “esteem no a. but that of hand,” Troil. I, 3, 199. “distilled almost to jelly with the a. of fear,” Hml. I, 2, 205. “the native a. and figure of my heart,” Oth. I, 1, 62. “poisons which with a little a. upon the blood burn like . . .,” III, 3, 328. “our conditions, so differing in their --s,” Ant. II, 2, 116. “apply allayments to their a.” Cymb. I, 5, 22.
4) execution: “the better a. of purposes mistook is to mistake again,” John III, 1, 274. “doing the execution and the a. for which we have assembled them,” H5 II, 2, 17. “give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his a.” Hml. I, 3, 60.
5) event: “to the state this heavy a. with heavy heart relate,” Oth. V, 2, 371. “makest thou me a dullard in this a.?” Cymb. V, 5, 265; but cf. def. Cymb. V, 5, 265
6) part of a play: “this dumb play had his acts made plain with tears,” Ven. 359. As II, 7, 143. H4B I, 1, 156. H8 Epil. H4B I, 1, 156 Mcb. I, 3, 128. Hml. III, 2, 83. V, 2, 346. A play on the word: Tp. II, 1, 252. Tw. V, 254. Wint. V, 2, 86. John II, 376. R3 II, 2, 39. Mcb. II, 4, 5.
7) decree, law, edict: Meas. I, 2, 174. I, 4, 64. R2 IV, 213. H6C I, 1, 245. H6C I, 1, 245 II, 2, 91. Cor. I, 1, 85. == the record containing a law or determination: “thyself shalt see the a.” Merch. IV, 1, 314.
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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (39):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 4.8
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1.7
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 2.4
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.7
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 4.2
    • William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1.5
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 3.3
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 4.2
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 4.3
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 3.3
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 3.4
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 4.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
    • William Shakespeare, Sonnets, clii
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