in the act


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in the act

1. As one is doing something. The police caught the robbers in the act of ransacking another house. I suspected that my friend was stealing money from me, and then I caught her in the act.
2. While having sexual intercourse. Can you believe I caught my husband in the act with another woman?
See also: act
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in the act (of doing something)

while doing something. There he was, in the act of opening the door. I tripped while in the act of climbing.
See also: act
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in the act

1. In the process of doing something. For example, The police caught the robber in the act, or I was in the act of closing the window. [Second half of 1600s]
2. Performing sexual intercourse, as in Her father caught them in the act. [Late 1500s]
See also: act
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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