E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Act and Opponency.
An Act, in our University language, consists of a thesis and disputation thereon, covering continuous parts of three hours. The person disputing with the keeper of the Act is called the opponent, and his function is called an opponency. In some degrees the student is required to keep his Act, and then to be the opponent of another disputant. Much alteration in these matters has been introduced of late, with other college reforms.