Definition of Acting out

1. Noun. A (usually irritating) impulsive and uncontrollable outburst by a problem child or a neurotic adult.

Generic synonyms: Blowup, Ebullition, Effusion, Gush, Outburst

2. Noun. (psychiatry) the display of previously inhibited emotions (often in actions rather than words); considered to be healthy and therapeutic.
Category relationships: Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, Psychopathology
Generic synonyms: Display

Definition of Acting out

1. Verb. (present participle of act out) ¹

¹ Source:

Medical Definition of Acting out

1. Expressing unconscious emotional conflicts or feelings, often of hostility or love, through overt behaviour. (12 Dec 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Acting Out

actin N-acetylaminopeptidase
actin filament
actin kinase
acting out (current term)
acting scrum-half
acting scrum-halves
acting up
actinic cheilitis
actinic conjunctivitis
actinic dermatitis

Literary usage of Acting out

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. American State Trials: A Collection of the Important and Interesting by John Davison Lawson, Robert Lorenzo Howard (1919)
"... than as they are marks of a voluntary act; and having found it so, it concerns itself no more with a man's design or principle of acting, out punishes, ..."

2. Empowering Families, Helping Adolescents: Family-Centered Treatment of edited by Wendy Snyder (1998)
"... Treating the Adolescent Who Is Delinquent/Acting-Out James Alexander, Ph.D. Introduction Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a family therapy model that ..."

3. Amateur and Educational Dramatics by Evelyne Hilliard, Theodora McCormick, Kate Oglebay (1917)
"Since the young child has little or no self-consciousness, is naturally a motor animal, and has much dramatic imagination, he enjoys acting out his ideas. ..."

4. On Receivers in Equity and Under the New York Code of Procedure: With Precedents by Charles Edwards (1857)
"... acting out OF THEIR CHARTER, ETC. MORTGAGEE. MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE. TRUSTEE. A PARTY IN THE CAUSE. Officers acting under the United States. ..."

5. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the English Courts of Common Law by Great Britain Bail Court (1872)
"... stances not appearing upon the face of it; for, in the case of special authorities given by statute to justices or others acting out of the ordi- *4531 ..."

6. The Law Magazine, Or, Quarterly Review of Jurisprudence by William S. Hein & Company (1837)
"... Prison on Summary Convictions in England and Wales, in the year ending Michaelmas, by one or more Justices of the Peace acting out of Quarter Sessions. ..."

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