In the act

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 ]
Performing sexual intercourse, as in Her father caught them in the act. [ Late 1500s ]


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    adjective phrase Without money; broke: A red hot pimp like you ain’t got no business being in the barrel [1940s+ Black; fr the archetypal image of a destitute man who wears a barrel for clothing]

  • In the belly of the beast

    adverb phrase In an extremely difficult plight; beleaguered: Esa-Pekka Salonen is in the belly of the beast. The brilliant young Finnish conductor has begun his third season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic [1990s+; perhaps an allusion to the plight of Jonah, swallowed by a great fish]

  • In the blood

    see: in one’s blood

  • In the boat

    Related Terms man in the boat

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