- an event or series of events that form part of a dramatic plot: the action of a scene.
- one of the three unities.Compare unity(def 8).
- a proceeding instituted by one party against another.
- the right of bringing it.
- interesting or exciting activity, often of an illicit nature: He gave us some tips on where the action was.
- gambling or the excitement of gambling: The casino usually offers plenty of action.
- money bet in gambling, especially illegally.
- a religious ceremony, especially a Eucharistic service.
- the canon of the Mass.
- those parts of a service of worship in which the congregation participates.
- performing or taking part in a characteristic act: The school baseball team is in action tonight.
- working; functioning: His rescuing the child was bravery in action.
- to start doing something: As soon as we get his decision, we'll take action.
- to start a legal procedure.
Origin of action
Synonyms for action
Antonyms for action
noun U.S. Government.
Origin of ACTION
Related Words for actionreaction, life, force, deal, process, plan, activity, operation, response, movement, maneuver, move, step, exercise, act, performance, effort, procedure, case, litigation
Examples from the Web for action
Contemporary Examples of action
This is where much of the action will be for anti-LGBT groups.‘Only God’ Can Stop Gay Marriage
January 6, 2015
Consider Nurse-Family Partnership, one of the best examples of evidence in action.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
That action ignited protests that rocked Wisconsin and spurred a recall—only the second recall of a governor in U.S. history.The Next Phase of the Koch Brothers’ War on Unions
Carl Deal and Tia Lessin
December 22, 2014
It is the right number for an action comedy which we want to have enough good action to work internationally.Inside Sony’s ‘Pineapple Express 2 Drama’: Leaked Emails Reveal Fight Over Stoner Comedy Sequel
December 21, 2014
But I am deeply concerned with the lack of progress in my case and feel that I must take some action.An American Marine in Iran’s Prisons Goes on Hunger Strike
December 18, 2014
Historical Examples of action
I'm going back there, and get things in action, and I'm going to stay by them.
She was apt not only to know what she talked about, but she was a woman of resource, unafraid of action.
Thoroughbred is the word for her, style and action, as the horse people say, perfect.
Plainly, too, he was a man of action and a man who engaged all her instinctive liking.
Upon this as a platform of purpose and of action we can stand together.
- a legal proceeding brought by one party against another, seeking redress of a wrong or recovery of what is due; lawsuit
- the right to bring such a proceeding
- a property of a system expressed as twice the mean kinetic energy of the system over a given time interval multiplied by the time interval
- the product of work or energy and time, usually expressed in joule secondsPlanck's constant of action
- a minor engagement
- fighting at sea or on landhe saw action in the war
Word Origin for action
mid-14c., "cause or grounds for a lawsuit," from Anglo-French accioun, Old French accion (12c.) "action, lawsuit, case," from Latin actionem (nominative actio) "a putting in motion; a performing, doing," noun of action from past participle stem of agere "to do" (see act (v.)). Sense of "something done, an act, deed" is late 14c. Meaning "fighting" is from c.1600. As a film director's command, it is attested from 1923. Meaning "excitement" is recorded from 1968. Phrase actions speak louder than words is attested from 1731.
In addition to the idioms beginning with action
- actions speak louder than words
- all talk and no action
- piece of the action
- swing into action