9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ree-akt] /riˈækt/
verb (used with object)
to act or perform again.
Origin of re-act
1650-60; re- + act


[ree-akt] /riˈækt/
verb (used without object)
to act in response to an agent or influence:
How did the audience react to the speech?
to act reciprocally upon each other, as two things.
to act in a reverse direction or manner, especially so as to return to a prior condition.
to act in opposition, as against some force.
to respond to a stimulus in a particular manner:
reacting to a shock by jumping; to react to the word “coward” with anger.
to undergo a chemical reaction.
1635-45; re- + act, probably modeled on Medieval Latin reagere Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for react
  • Scientists typically respond and react after viruses have already spread.
  • Another imaging study showed a similar compensation effort might help older people react to social situations.
  • People react to designer labels as signals of underlying quality.
  • Some people react to stress by reaching for a few too many drinks.
  • That's because, he says, it may help us understand how reefs around the world will react to an acidifying ocean.
  • The louder the call, the closer the danger-and the faster the meerkats react.
  • But the teachers can change their teaching styles in order to react to different students.
  • Even natural fragrances can react with ozone in the air to make toxins.
  • It may well be that our mirror neurons react only to actions that are part of our own motor repertoire.
  • It's the hardest known material, of course, and it doesn't react chemically with other substances.
British Dictionary definitions for react


(intransitive; foll by to, upon etc) (of a person or thing) to act in response to another person, a stimulus, etc, or (of two people or things) to act together in a certain way
(intransitive) foll by against. to act in an opposing or contrary manner
(intransitive) (physics) to exert an equal force in the opposite direction to an acting force
(chem) to undergo or cause to undergo a chemical reaction
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin reagere, from re- + Latin agere to drive, do


(transitive) to act or perform again
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for react

1640s, "to exert, as a thing acted upon, an opposite action upon the agent," from re- + act (v.). Chemical sense is from 1944. Related: Reacted; reacting (1610s). For sense development, see reaction. Meaning "perform again" (often re-act) is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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react in Medicine

react re·act (rē-ākt')
v. re·act·ed, re·act·ing, re·acts

  1. To act in response to a stimulus.

  2. To undergo a chemical reaction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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