Dictionary: A-CRI'TA, or A-CRI'TES – AC'TI-AN

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A-CRI'TA, or A-CRI'TES, n.

The lowest division of animals in which there is no distinct discernible nervous system, and no separate alimentary canal, as the sponges, polypus, &c.

AC'RI-TUDE, n. [See Acrid.]

An acrid quality; bitterness to the taste; biting heat.

A-CRO-A-MAT'IC, a. [Gr. ακροαματικος, from ακροαμαι, to hear.]

Abstruse; pertaining to deep learning; an epithet applied to the secret doctrines of Aristotle. – Enfield.

A-CRO-AT'IC, a. [Gr. ακροατικος.]

Abstruse; pertaining to deep learning; and opposed to exoteric. Aristotle's lectures were of two kinds, acroatic, acroamatic, or esoteric, which were delivered to a class of select disciples, who had been previously instructed in the elements of learning; and exoteric, which were delivered in public. The former respected being, God, and nature; the principal subjects of the latter were logic, rhetoric, and policy. The abstruse lectures were called acroatics. – Enfield.

A-CRO-CE-RAU'NI-AN, a. [Gr. ακρα, a summit, and κεραυνος, thunder.]

An epithet applied to certain mountains, between Epirus and Illyricum, in the 41st degree of latitude. They project into the Adriatic, and are so termed from being often struck with lightning. – Encyc.

A-CRO-LITH, n. [Gr. ακρος, and λιθος.]

In architecture and sculpture, a statue whose extremities were of stone. – Elmes.

A-CRO'MI-ON, n. [Gr. ακρος, highest, and νυξ, shoulder.]

In anatomy, that part of the spine of the scapula, which receives the extreme part of the clavicle. – Quincy.

A-CRON'IC, or A-CRON'IC-AL, a. [Gr. ακρος, extreme, and νυξ, night.]

In astronomy, a term applied to the rising of a star at sun-set, or its setting at sun-rise. This rising or setting is called acronical. The word is opposed to cosmical. – Bailey. Encyc. Johnson.


In an acronical manner; at the rising or setting of the sun.

AC-RO-PO'DI-UM, n. [Gr. ακρος and πους.]

In zoology, the upper surface of the whole foot. Brande.

A-CROP'O-LIS, n. [Gr. ακρος, and πολις.]

A citadel; the citadel in Athens.

AC'RO-SPIRE, n. [Gr. ακρος, highest, and σπειρα, a spire, or spiral line.]

A shoot, or sprout of a seed; the plume, or plumule, so called from its spiral form. – Mortimer.


Having a sprout, or having sprouted at both ends. – Mortimer.

A-CROSS', prep. [akraus'; a and cross. See Cross.]

  1. From side to side, opposed to along, which is in the direction of the length; athwart; quite over; as, a bridge is laid across a river.
  2. Intersecting; passing over at any angle; as a line passing across another.


That relates to, or contains an acrostic.

A-CROS'TIC, n. [Gr. ακρα, extremity or beginning, and στιχος, order or verse.]

A composition in verse, in which the first letters of the lines, taken in order, form the name of a person, kingdom, city, &c., which is the subject of the composition, or some title or motto.


In the manner of an acrostic.

A-CRO-TE-LEU'TIC, n. [Gr. ακρος, extreme, and τελευτη, end.]

Among ecclesiastical writers, an appellation given to any thing added to the end of a psalm, or hymn; as a doxology.

A-CRO'TER, n. [Gr. ακροτηρ, a summit.]

In architecture, a small pedestal, usually without a base, anciently placed at the two extremes, or in the middle of pediments or frontispieces, serving to support the statues, &c. It also signifies the figures placed as ornaments on the tops of churches, and the sharp pinnacles that stand in ranges about flat buildings with rails and balusters. Anciently the word signified the extremities of the body, as the head, hands, and feet. – Encyc.

A-CRO-THYM'I-ON, n. [Gr. ακρος, extreme, and θυμος, thyme.]

Among physicians, a species of wart, with a narrow basis and broad top, having the color of thyme. It is called Thymus. – Celsus.

ACT, n.

  1. The exertion of power; the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; as, the act of giving or receiving. In this sense, it denotes an operation of the mind. Thus, to discern is an act of the understanding; to judge is an act of the will.
  2. That which is done; a deed, exploit, or achievement, whether good or ill. And his miracles and his acts which he did in the midst of Egypt. – Deut. xi.
  3. Action; performance; production of effects; as, an act of charity. But this sense is closely allied to the foregoing.
  4. A state of reality or real existence, as opposed to a possibility. The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterwards grow to be. – Hooker.
  5. In general, act denotes action completed; but preceded by in, it denotes incomplete action. She was taken in the very act. – John viii. In act is used also to signify incipient action, or a state of preparation to exert power; as, "In act to strike," a poetical use.
  6. A part or division of a play to be performed without interruption; after which the action is suspended to give respite to the performers. Acts are divided into smaller portions, called scenes.
  7. The result of public deliberation, or the decision of a prince, legislative body, council, court of justice, or magistrate; a decree, edict, law, judgment, resolve, award, determination; as, an act of parliament, or of congress. The term is also transferred to the book, record, or writing, containing the laws and determinations. Also, any instrument in writing to verify facts. In the sense of agency, or power to produce effects, as in the passage cited by Johnson from Shakspeare, the use is improper. To try the vigor of them, and apply Allayments to their act. Act, in English Universities, is a thesis maintained in public, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student. At Oxford, the time when masters and doctors complete their degrees is also called the act, which is held with great solemnity. At Cambridge, as in the United States, it is called commencement. – Encyc. Act of faith, auto da fé, in Catholic countries, is a solemn day held by the Inquisition, for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of accused persons found innocent; or it is the sentence of the Inquisition. Acts of the Apostles, the title of a book in the New Testament, containing a history of the transactions of the Apostles. Acta Diurna, among the Romans, a sort of Gazette, containing an authorized account of transactions in Rome, nearly similar to our newspapers. Acta Populi, or Acta Publica, the Roman registers of assemblies, trials, executions, buildings, births, marriages, and deaths of illustrious persons, &c. Acta Senatus, minutes of what passed in the Roman senate, called also Commentarii, commentaries.

ACT, v.i. [Gr. αγω, L. ago, to urge, drive, lead, bring, do, perform; or in general, to move, to exert force; Cantabrian, eg, force; W. egni; Ir. eigean, force; Ir. aige, to act or carry on; eachdam, to do or act; actaim, to ordain; eacht, acht, deed, act, condition; Fr. agir; It. agire, to do or act.]

  1. To exert power; as, the stomach acts upon food; the will acts upon the body in producing motion.
  2. To be in action or motion; to move. He hangs between in doubt to act or rest. – Pope.
  3. To behave, demean, or conduct, as in morals, private duties, or public offices; as, we know not why a minister has acted in this manner. But in this sense, it is most frequent in popular language; as, how the man acts or has acted. To act up to, is to equal in action; to fulfill, or perform a correspondent action; as, he has acted up to his engagement or his advantages.

ACT, v.t.

  1. To perform; to represent a character on the stage. Act well your part, there all the honor lies. – Pope.
  2. To feign or counterfeit. [Obs. or improper.] With acted fear the villain thus pursued. – Dryden.
  3. To put in motion; to actuate; to regulate movements. Most people in the world are acted by levity. – South. Locke. [In this latter sense obsolete, and superseded by Actuate, which see.]

ACT'ED, pp.

Done; performed; represented on the stage.

AC'TI-AN, a.

Relating to Actium, a town and promontory of Epirus, as Actian games, which were instituted by Augustus, to celebrate his naval victory over Anthony, near that town, Sep. 2, B. C. 31. They were celebrated every five years. Hence, Actian years, reckoned from that era. – Encyc.