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Act up   /ækt əp/   Listen
Act up

verb
1.
Misbehave badly; act in a silly or improper way.  Synonym: carry on.
2.
Make itself felt as a recurring pain.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Act up" Quotes from Famous Books



... founded upon any intuitive ideas of right and wrong, nor was it fashioned upon any outward experiences of time and place; but it was formed entirely on what he held to be the revelation of the will of God in the written Word, and throughout all his life his faith led him to act up to the ...
— A Handful of Stars - Texts That Have Moved Great Minds • Frank W. Boreham

... ourselves, and our times and obligations? [25] Are we duly aware of our own great opportunities and responsibilities? Are we prepared to meet and improve them, to act up to the acme of divine ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... acting fairly by me? Didn't you talk to me yourself, half an hour yesterday, and impress upon me that I ought to be grave and steady, now that I was going to enter upon the duties of a pedagogue; and ain't I trying my best to act up to your instructions, and there you burst out laughing in my face, ...
— Held Fast For England - A Tale of the Siege of Gibraltar (1779-83) • G. A. Henty

... dealings with each other, in their thoughts, in their speech. 'You are so strong, have you no compassion for him who is weak, who is tempted, who has fallen?' How often have I heard this from a Burman's lips! How often have I seen him act up to it! It seems to them the necessary corollary of strength that the strong man should be sympathetic and kind. It seems to them an unconscious confession of weakness to be scornful, revengeful, inconsiderate. ...
— The Soul of a People • H. Fielding

... fixed themselves upon the sausages. Henri giggled. Intuitively he realized that he must indeed look like a scarecrow, and, employing his quick wits, that French perception which led him so quickly to realize the situation, he determined to act up to it. Not that he felt much inclined to giggle or ready for mirth; for, indeed, he was almost trembling with agitation. At any moment the door of the kitchen might be burst open by the farmer himself, and he would be discovered. The Sergeant ...
— With Joffre at Verdun - A Story of the Western Front • F. S. Brereton

... own from her sister. The consequence was, that Hester found that Maria filled a large space in Margaret's mind, and that a new interest had risen up in which she had little share. She, too, remembered the conversation, but had not strength to act up to the spirit of it. She had then owned her weakness, and called it wickedness, and fancied that she could never mistrust her sister again. She was now so ashamed of her own consciousness of being once more jealous, that she strove to hide the fact from herself; and was ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... scarcely mollified by a ten-cent tip. Americans, on the other hand, go through all these processes, and more, with stolid and long-suffering patience. Yet this nation is credited with having invented the maxim "Time is money," and is supposed to act up ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... find it, sometimes, very difficult to act up to my position. I never quite feel that I am an earl, except on the rare occasions when I go to the House of Lords—which I only do when my vote is wanted, on ...
— On the Irrawaddy - A Story of the First Burmese War • G. A. Henty

... rather a challenge, to profuse expenditure. Regularly, and by law, a Gentleman Commoner is liable to little heavier burdens than a Commoner; but, to meet the expectations of those around him, and to act up to the part he has assumed, he must spend more, and he must be more careless in controlling his expenditure, than a moderate and prudent Commoner. In every light, therefore, I condemn the institution, and give it up to the ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... tell the truth, even if it got them into trouble, and they were to bear the hardships that fall to the lot of every soldier—hunger and thirst, heat and cold—without grumbling. And the men accepted his teaching, and tried to act up to it, because they saw that Havelock asked nothing of them that ...
— The Red Book of Heroes • Leonora Blanche Lang

... individuals twenty years ago, and now that reform has drawn into its vortex all the living spirits in the land, and has created an agitation of the public mind that will never be quelled until Slavery is buried out of sight forever. If the women of New York will act up to the noble sentiments that have been expressed in the addresses and letters written by women to this Convention, great and glorious results must follow. And there are especial reasons why women should be earnest in this ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... when I began to speak in this manner that I should have to act up to my words, I should certainly have said much less; but as it was, the duke fancied that I knew much more than I cared to say. The result was that, when the company had risen from the table, he asked me if I could spare him a fortnight on my way to St. Petersburg. I said ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... you—I tell you, my brethren, I tell you again, that an old error is better than a new truth." There are few who will assent to this proposition in plain terms; but there are thousands upon thousands, who act up to the very letter of it, constantly.—The history of man is extensively a history of ...
— A Disquisition on the Evils of Using Tobacco - and the Necessity of Immediate and Entire Reformation • Orin Fowler

... do, everything is well," Pao-y further argued, "so long as you act up to your feelings; and if you do, I shall be ever only too willing to even suffer immediate death for your sake. Whether you know this or not, doesn't matter; it's all the same. Yet were you to just do as my heart would ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... exclaimed the girl reprovingly, "you sit right down by my side and do this thing right." She explained to the young man, "Bill Atkins has been higher up than Brick, and he knows forms and ceremonies, but he despises to act up to what he knows. Sit right down, Bill, and make the move." There was something so unusual in the attitude of the blooming young girl toward the weather-beaten, forbidding-looking man, something so authoritative and at the same time so protecting, at ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... Slam and Martingale, and Mademoiselle Entrechat, and all his fast and fashionable acquaintances, male and female, say to such declension? The thought was overwhelming, and thereupon Oakley resolved to give up all idea of earning an honest living, to "drown care," "d— the consequences," and act up to the maxim he had frequently professed, when the champagne corks were flying at his expense for the benefit of a circle of admiring friends, of "a short life and a merry one." So he stopped in London till ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... choice a custom which he commenced from duty. But he never suffered the ardour of the soldier to make him lose the coolness of the general; and at Arbela, in particular, he showed that he could act up to his favourite ...
— The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo • Sir Edward Creasy, M.A.

... one of the Towers's costume balls Mr. X, of American renown, dressed conspicuously as Jupiter (of all ironies!), stalked about, trying to act up to his part by shaking in people's faces his ridiculous tin bolts held in white kid-glove hands, and facetiously knocking them on the head. He happened, while talking to a lady, to be right in front of the young Prince. A friend tapped him discreetly on the shoulder, giving ...
— The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912 • Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone

... conclusively—not that any proof is necessary—that the composer had thought long and seriously about the scope of his art, and that the reforms which he introduced were a deliberate attempt to reconstruct opera upon a new basis of ideal beauty. If he sometimes failed to act up to his own theories, it must be remembered in what school he had been trained, and how difficult must have been the attempt to cast off in a moment the style which had been habitual to him for so ...
— The Opera - A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions - of all Works in the Modern Repertory • R.A. Streatfeild

... cruelly disappointed both of her husband and his riches. Don't you think we might do something for her? Have her to live with us? And, Noddy, I tell you what I want—I want society. We have come into a great fortune, and we must act up to it. It's never been acted up to, and consequently no good has come ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol III • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... set daan to be iverybody's duty to do th' best they can for thersen, an' it's becoss this doctrine is soa well acted up to, 'at maks me think 'at ther may be a bit ov amusement an' profit i' studying abaat it at this time—yo can tak th' amusement an' let me have th' profit. Nah, if you act up to my advice, aw think yo may be happen better nor yo are, an' if yo dooant aw dooant think yo'l be ony war, an' that's one comfort. Ther's nowt like startin at th' faandation ov a subject, if yo want to deal wi' it in a ...
— Yorksher Puddin' - A Collection of the Most Popular Dialect Stories from the - Pen of John Hartley • John Hartley

... been cast as the possible realization of the German Messiah of earlier dreams, fulfilled their expectations, nay, as each in succession implicitly belied these hopes, showing no disposition whatever to act up to the views promulgated in their names, the tradition of the Imperial deliverer gradually lost its force and popularity. By the opening of the Lutheran Reformation the opinion had become general that a change would not come ...
— German Culture Past and Present • Ernest Belfort Bax

... in the first place; to him, and to the world, in the second only. Principles that are in my mind; that I found there; implanted, no doubt, by the first gracious Planter: which therefore impel me, as I may say, to act up to them, that thereby I may, to the best of my judgment, be enabled to comport myself worthily in both states, (the single and the married), let others act ...
— Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) - History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... fine a comparative description of himself beforehand,' said Hazel with the laugh in her voice. 'It would be quite presuming to suppose he does not mean to act up to it.' ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... "Ho, Peter Vibart, act up to your cousin's reputation; who's to know the difference?" My arms tightened about her, then I loosed her suddenly, and, turning, smote my clenched fist against a tree; which done, I stooped and picked up my hat ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... She thought Michael would not act up to this resolution; but he fully meant what he said. Woodcote, dearly as he loved it, would never be his home now. Of course, he would do things by degrees: his brief absences should grow longer and more frequent, until ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... with earnest individuals, who in spite of their system possessed the Spirit of Christ. He had many sincere friends who were members of the Church of Rome, and he used to remark that some of them set a noble example of devotion to many Protestants, who did not act up to their own principles. Writing on the 5th January 1878, ...
— General Gordon - A Christian Hero • Seton Churchill

... the young Englishman with benevolent neutrality. Dora wished it to be understood that she reserved her opinion. He might be all that he seemed, and again he might not. Englishmen were so deep. They might have nice manners, but they didn't always act up to them, so far as she had noticed. There was that Honourable Somebody, who was in jail even then for trying to borrow money under false pretences from the Governor-General. Lorne, when she expressed these views to him, reassured her, ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... The first point to be obtained is to know one's own mind. Once sure of that, and where women are concerned it is not easy, the next is, to act up to the decision. I have endeavored to do both, and ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... receipt of your letter, and the reading of some of the criticisms this morning, have rendered me nervous for the whole day. I feel almost appalled by such success, and fearful that it cannot be real, or that it is not fully merited, or that I shall not act up to the expectations that may be formed. We are whimsically constituted beings. I had got out of conceit of all that I had written, and considered it very questionable stuff; and now that it is so extravagantly ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... this note, and then re-read it, knowing in his heart that now was his opportunity to act up to his convictions, and put an end to the whole transaction in a few decisive words. But a man who has for so many years given place to the devil of avarice, even though it be avarice with a legitimate ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... note in the minute book in the lecturer's handwriting says, "This was one of Shaw's most outrageous performances"—and, in the absence of the Rev. Stopford Brooke, another by Shaw on "Why we do not act up ...
— The History of the Fabian Society • Edward R. Pease

... Act up faithfully to your convictions; and when you have been unfaithful, bear with yourself, and resume always with calm simplicity your little task. Suppress, as much as you possibly can, all recurrence to yourself, and you will suppress much vanity. Accustom yourself to much calmness ...
— Daily Strength for Daily Needs • Mary W. Tileston

... you would be bound to set a good example to them; and, if you're men, you'd like to save the woman; but you couldn't do it by merely living; for that would be setting the bad example of passing on and leaving the poor creature to be beaten. What is it that you need to know then, in order to act up to your fine ideas? Why, you want to know how to hit him, when to hit him, and where to hit him; and then you want the nerve to go in and do it. That's executive power; and that's what's wanted worse than sitting down and thinking how ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... for getting rid of dangerous cargo. The bottom of it opens right to Davy Jones. Standard fitting for ships carrying explosives, radioactives, anything that might act up unexpectedly." ...
— One-Shot • James Benjamin Blish

... copilot wanted to stay around and look for it but No. 2 engine had started to act up soon after they had put on full power for the climb, and they decided that they'd ...
— The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects • Edward Ruppelt

... word against Coberston for the next three months, I warrant ye. But, by my faith, it's as teuch a job as boilin' auld Soulis in the cauldron at the Skelfhill; and I hae nae black spae-book like Thomas to help my spell. Yet, after a', my Lord, what spell is like the wit o' man, when he has courage to act up to 't!" ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... Unitarians, Agnostics; the whole lot of us. We all believe the same things, to a great extent; but we must keep wrangling about the data from which we infer these beliefs . . . I believe a great deal that he does, but I certainly don't act up to my belief as he ...
— Robert F. Murray - his poems with a memoir by Andrew Lang • Robert F. Murray

... ask me, I applaud Antigonus; for it is not to be endured that a man who despises money should ask for it. Your cynic has publicly proclaimed his hatred of money, and assumed the character of one who despises it: let him act up to his professions. It is most inconsistent for him to earn money by glorifying his poverty. I wish to use Chrysippus's simile of the game of ball, in which the ball must certainly fall by the fault either of the thrower or of the catcher; it only holds its course when it passes ...
— L. Annaeus Seneca On Benefits • Seneca

... family affairs will require your attention, and not give the time you used to have for this employment. But consider, child, the station you are raised to does not require you to be quite a domestic animal. You are lifted up to the rank of a lady, and you must act up to it, and not think of setting such an example, as will draw upon you the ill-will and censure of other ladies. For will any of our sex visit one who is continually employing herself in such works as either must be a reproach to herself, ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... the ideal of a man which most of us would form under the impress and impetus of the indwelling genius of Nature. But this ideal can only be reached by an individual when his country also has reached it. He will be driven, therefore, to make his country behave and act up to this ideal. And his country cannot so act till the general society of nations conducts itself on the same general lines. His country, therefore, will be driven to make the general society of nations behave in accordance with the principles of ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... has won its way into a contract and everybody is happy, you must be prepared to keep your two-act up-to-the-minute. While it is on the road, you must send to the performers all the laughs you can think of—particularly if you have chosen for your theme one that demands constant furbishing to ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... of the British sloop of war Peacock, gave Lawrence high reputation; and he felt as if he must act up to his high character. He seemed like an hero impelled, by high ideas of chivalry, to fight, conquer or die, without attending to the needful cautions and preparations. His first officer he left sick on shore, who died a few days after the battle; his next officer ...
— A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, 2nd ed. • Benjamin Waterhouse

... his ready sympathy, not expressed as the world expresses its sympathy, in words, but by a hundred little self-abnegations. He was always ready to act up to the principles of his companion for the moment or to act up to no principles at all should that companion be deficient. Moreover, he never took it upon himself to judge others, but extended to his neighbour a large tolerance, in return for which ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... been pretty low in my spirits I can tell you and I beg your pardon humble, young feller, and if ever I can do Nella-Rose a turn by letting Burke free, no matter what he does—I will! But 'tain't likely he'll act up for some time. Nella-Rose always could tame him and he's been close on her trail ever since she was a toddler. I'm right glad they took things in their own hands and left. She didn't sense the right black meaning I had in my heart that ...
— The Man Thou Gavest • Harriet T. Comstock

... it from the written Word. Of such a one it may be said that every act of his life is or can be as truly sacred as prayer or baptism or the Lord's Supper. To say this is not to bring all acts down to one dead level; it is rather to lift every act up into a living kingdom and turn the whole life into a sacrament. If a sacrament is an external expression of an inward grace than we need not hesitate to accept the above thesis. By one act of consecration of our total selves ...
— The Pursuit of God • A. W. Tozer

... in the world. I should not be surprised, Hilda, if my sermons took a turn for the better after this visitation. I have preached to my flock, year in, year out, that the mysterious ways of Providence are undoubtedly the best—I have got to act up to my ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... husband might well have felt they were bound to act up to such a eulogy. Some of their advisers also, and especially the Baron de Breteuil and the Abbe de Yermond, fortified their decision with their advice; being, in truth, greatly influenced by a reason which they forbore to mention, ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... on the point of mounting, when the coyote horse began to act up in great shape. Some one said to Edwards, "Loosen your cinches!" "Oh, it's nothing but the corn he's been eating and a few days' rest," said Miller. "He's just running a little bluff on Billy." As Edwards went to put his foot in the stirrup a second time, the coyote ...
— Cattle Brands - A Collection of Western Camp-fire Stories • Andy Adams

... better performed because there's no wife or co-equal aboard here. Where the ship is to go, and what she is to do, are other matters, which I take from general orders, special orders, or signals. Let them act up to this principle in London, and we should hear no more of ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... you will not take your regiment again; to continue acting vigorously and honestly where you are. Things are never stable enough in our country to give you a prospect of a long slavery. Your defect is irresolution. When you have taken your post, act up to it; and if you are driven from it, your retirement will then be as Honourable, and more satisfactory than your administration. I speak frankly, as my friendship for you directs. My way of acting (though a private instance) is agreeable ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... the man would act up to his threat; but after a time, when a groan came from Humpy, the whispering and movements recommenced in the efforts made to ...
— Nic Revel - A White Slave's Adventures in Alligator Land • George Manville Fenn

... did Commodore Campbell act up to the spirit of Lord Nelson's orders, that the bashaw actually delivered to him all the French who were at Tripoli, nearly forty in number. These, his lordship sent in the Susannah cartel, carrying French prisoners to Genoa, which sailed on the 6th of June; honourably ...
— The Life of the Right Honourable Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, Vol. II (of 2) • James Harrison

... Pierrot, Scapin, Blaise and Babette. They have come from all parts, from Greece and Rome and the lands of Faery, to dance together. What a fine thing a fancy ball is, and how delicious to be a great King for an hour or a famous Princess! There is nothing to spoil the pleasure. No need to act up to your costume, nor ...
— Child Life In Town And Country - 1909 • Anatole France

... the money, some thought—had called him 'Four-in-hand Forsyte.' The name having reached his ears through that fellow Nicholas Treffry, old Jolyon's dead partner, the great driving man notorious for more carriage accidents than any man in the kingdom—Swithin had ever after conceived it right to act up to it. The name had taken his fancy, not because he had ever driven four-in-hand, or was ever likely to, but because of something distinguished in the sound. Four-in-hand Forsyte! Not bad! Born too soon, Swithin had missed ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy



Words linked to "Act up" :   misdemean, hurt, misbehave, ache, smart, misconduct, carry on



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