Action definition

ăkshən
Frequency:
Something that is done or accomplished; a deed.
noun
32
7
The state or process of acting or doing.

The medical team went into action.

noun
20
8
The doing of something; state of being in motion or of working.
noun
14
2
The causation of change by the exertion of power or a natural process.

The action of waves on a beach; the action of a drug on blood pressure.

noun
19
8
Organized activity to accomplish an objective.

A problem requiring drastic action.

noun
13
4
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Behavior or conduct.
noun
9
2
A legal proceeding by which one seeks to have a wrong put right; lawsuit.
noun
9
2
Designating or of a type of film characterized by a fast-paced plot, a series of suspenseful confrontations, violent fight and chase scenes, etc.
adjective
8
1
The series of events and episodes that form the plot of a story or play.

The action of the novel takes place over 40 years in the South.

noun
6
0
The moving parts or mechanism, as of a gun, piano, etc.
noun
6
1
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The appearance of animation in a painting, sculpture, etc.
noun
5
0
Habitual or vigorous activity; energy.

A woman of action.

noun
4
0
(law) A proceeding brought before a court to obtain relief; a lawsuit.
noun
4
0
An act or thing done.
noun
4
0
Behavior; habitual conduct.
noun
4
0
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Habitual activity characterized by energy and boldness.

A man of action.

noun
4
0
The effect produced by something.

The action of a drug.

noun
4
0
The way of moving, working, etc., as of a machine, an organ of the body, etc.
noun
4
0
Such happenings when exciting.
noun
4
0
A civil or criminal judicial proceeding intended to resolve a legal dispute, claim, or accusation.
noun
4
0
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The manner in which such parts operate.
noun
3
0
Military combat in general.
noun
3
0
A federal agency established in 1971 to supervise all U.S. government programs and agencies for volunteers, as the Peace Corps, VISTA, etc.
noun
3
0
Any behavior, conduct, or series of acts by a person.
noun
3
0
The definition of an action is something that is done or performed.

Performing a skit and baking a cake are each an example of an action.

noun
3
1
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The manner in which a musical instrument can be played; playability.

A piano with quick action.

noun
2
0
(slang) Activity or excitement.
  • Gambling activity.
  • Sexual activity.
noun
2
0
Any of such happenings.
noun
2
0
A military encounter.
noun
2
0
An action brought to enforce, protect, or redress a civil or private right or to compel a civil remedy; any action brought other than a criminal action.
2
0
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An action brought by a person or a group of people as representatives of a larger group who have a common legal claim but are so numerous that it is impracticable for all of them to participate or be joined as individual parties in the case.
2
0
An action brought against a large group of people who have a common legal defense to a claim that they are all potentially liable for but are so numerous that it is impracticable for all of them to participate or be joined as individual parties in the case.
2
0
An action initiated by the government to punish a person or entity for a crime.
2
0
An action seeking an award of money from the defendant for a wrong committed upon the plaintiff.
2
0
An action brought on behalf of a corporation by a shareholder when that corporation is entitled to bring an action and, deliberatively or otherwise, fails to do so.
2
0
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An action that is based upon the injury suffered by someone other than the plaintiff. For example, a husband may sue for loss of consortium or services if the defendant injured his wife.
2
0
2
0
See in rem.
2
0
An action against an out-of-state defendant over whom the state lacks in personam jurisdiction that is commenced by the attachment, garnishment, or other seizure of property owned by the defendant that is located within the state and that is unrelated to the plaintiff’s claim.
2
0
An action initiated by a defendant in a civil case against a person or entity who is not a party to the proceeding that is against the defendant and against whom the defendant claims a right of contribution or indemnity, should the defendant be found liable to the plaintiff.
2
0
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Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
noun
2
0
A way of motion or functioning.

Knead bread with a rocking action.

noun
2
0
A fast-paced activity.

An action movie.

noun
2
0
A mechanism; a moving part or assembly.

A rifle action.

noun
2
0
(music): The mechanism, that is the set of moving mechanical parts, of a keyboard instrument, like a piano, which transfers the motion of the key to the sound-making device.
noun
2
0
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(slang) Sexual intercourse.

She gave him some action.

noun
2
0
The distance separating the strings and the fretboard on the guitar.
noun
2
0
(military) Combat.

He saw some action in the Korean War.

noun
2
0
(law) A charge or other process in a law court (also called lawsuit and actio).
noun
2
0
(mathematics) A homomorphism from a group to a group of automorphisms.

One of the earliest uses of groups, according to lore, was the study of the action of on the equilateral triangle.

noun
2
0
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The event or connected series of events, either real or imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.
noun
1
0
(art, painting and sculpture) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
noun
1
0
Demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance.

The director yelled ‘Action!’ before the camera started rolling.

interjection
1
0
(management) To act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect.
verb
1
0
(chiefly archaic) To initiate a legal action against someone.
verb
1
0
The most important or exciting work or activity in a specific field or area.

Always heads for where the action is.

noun
1
1
Armed encounter; combat.

Missing in action.

noun
1
1
An engagement between troops or ships.

Fought a rear-guard action.

noun
1
1
Manner of movement.

A horse with fine action.

noun
1
1
The appearance of animation of a figure in painting or sculpture.
noun
1
1
A series or number of fast-moving, exciting, or dangerous events, especially in a movie.

Liked the film because there was so much action.

noun
1
1
The operating parts of a mechanism.
noun
1
1
The sequence of happenings in a story or play; plot.
noun
1
1
A movement or a series of movements, as of an actor.
noun
1
2
bring action
  • to start a lawsuit
idiom
2
0
see action
  • to participate in military combat
idiom
4
1
take action
  • to become active
  • to start a lawsuit
idiom
5
0

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
action
Plural:
actions

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

bring action
see action

Origin of action

  • From Middle English accion, from Old French action, from Latin āctiō (“act of doing or making”), from āctus, perfect passive participle of agō (“do, act”), + action suffix -iō; see act.

    From Wiktionary