act on

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act (up)on (something)

1. To take action in a situation. The report is due tomorrow, so I need you to act on it immediately. Please act upon this subpoena for records at once.
2. To take action that is strongly influenced by certain information or advice. ("Upon" is most commonly used to convey this meaning.) Acting upon my doctor's orders, I cleared my schedule and spent the week recuperating at home. A; "I can't believe he said that about us!" B: "Well, he's probably just acting on his mother's instruction, and that woman hates us."
3. To impact or affect someone or something in some way. The barking dogs next door are acting on my patience.
See also: act
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

act (up)on something

1. to take action on a particular problem. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) I will act on this immediately.
2. to take action because of some special information. The police refused to act upon his complaint because he was an ex-convict.
3. to perform on something, usually the stage (in a theater). Ken has never acted on the stage or in front of a camera.
See also: act, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

act on

1. Also, act upon. Conduct oneself in accordance with or as a result of information or another action, as in I will act on my lawyer's advice, or The manager refused to act upon the hotel guest's complaints. [c. 1800]
2. Influence or affect, as in The baby's fussing acted on the sitter's nerves. [c. 1800]
See also: act, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
New Delhi, February 25 (ANI): India's Home minister said on Wednesday that though attempts of infiltration by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI cannot be ruled out,the country's security mechanism is prepared to act upon any smallest intelligence in this regard.Speaking in the Rajya Sabha,upper house of Indian Parliament, P Chidambaram said India has intimated all the state governments to get their acts together.
'Having got the specific intelligence and made the decision, there was no choice but to act upon it.
A few weeks before the conference, IABC Chair Warren Bickford, ABC, shared his personal top 10 list of concerns at the IABC Cafe, Bickford's blog and a lively "gathering place for professional communicators." Conference sessions covered many of these issues, leaving participants with much to consider and even more to act upon.
We become witnesses of our inability to act upon what we see.
At the end of the day, you need to believe in uncertainty to act upon it.
Following your publication of a letter by Melvyn Gibson regarding the Castle Hill pub fiasco (Examiner, July 15), I decided to act upon his suggestion of writing to the Planning Inspectorate, Bristol, expressing my concerns.
"Managing the vast amounts of security data and being able to act upon it to make intelligent decisions is critical for us to ensure our assets are protected across the enterprise.
Jackson is accused of committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
* TEI designed and launched a new website, vastly expanding the ability of the organization and its members to interact with one another, to share and act upon information, and to advance our common objectives.
It is suspected that men will act upon curiosity more freely than women.
"What I'm concerned about are security officials who, whether for moral or political reasons, act upon this a little more expansively," said Vanessa Edwards Foster, chair of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition.
Whether these are direct or indirect obligations is, for the moment, irrelevant to the fact that they exist, that they require certain restraints on our part, and that before the age of industrial farming, one could act upon both (a) and (b) at the same time.
And that's Don Ranly's ultimate goal: If your readers act upon what you write, they will return to your newsletter-and presumably renew faithfully.
* Leaders need to have strong beliefs; they also need to articulate and act upon those beliefs and be accountable for the results.
Three elements are necessary for evolution of organisms to occur, variation between individuals, physical differences that natural selection can act upon, and inheritance.