- the process or state of acting or of being active: The machine is not in action now.
- something done or performed; act; deed.
- an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity: a crisis that demands action instead of debate; hoping for constructive action by the landlord.
- actions, habitual or usual acts; conduct: He is responsible for his actions.
- energetic activity: a man of action.
- an exertion of power or force: the action of wind upon a ship's sails.
- effect or influence: the action of morphine.
- Physiology. a change in organs, tissues, or cells leading to performance of a function, as in muscular contraction.
- way or manner of moving: the action of a machine or of a horse.
- the mechanism by which something is operated, as that of a gun or a piano.
- a military encounter or engagement; battle, skirmish, or the like.
- actual engagement in fighting an enemy; military or naval combat: He saw action in Vietnam.
- Literature. the main subject or story, as distinguished from an incidental episode.
- 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).
- the gestures or deportment of an actor or speaker.
- Fine Arts. the appearance of animation, movement, or emotion given to figures by their attitude, position, or expression.
- 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.
- characterized by brisk or dynamic action: an action car; an action melodrama.
- in action,
- 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.
- out of action, removed from action, as by sudden disability: The star halfback is out of action with a bad knee.
- piece of the action, Informal. a share of the proceeds or profits: Cut me in for a piece of the action.
- take 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 actionSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for action
- an independent agency created in 1971 to administer domestic volunteer programs.
Origin of ACTION
Related Words for actionsbehavior
Examples from the Web for actions
Contemporary Examples of actions
[These actions] call into question not only their judgment but how true the effort is to expanding into those communities.GOP Boss Gets Help From ‘White Hate’ Pal
December 30, 2014
“Internationally there has been a lot of horror and contempt for her actions, domestically very little,” he said.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays
December 30, 2014
Still, his conviction will restart a House Ethics Committee investigation into his actions.The Felon Who Wouldn’t Leave Congress
Ben Jacobs, David Freedlander
December 23, 2014
The actions of North Korea this week should also send a clear message about the danger of this regime.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
“If a house is accused of problems such as sexual assault, then I believe that actions should take place on that house,” he says.Fraternities in a Post-UVA World
December 12, 2014
Historical Examples of actions
I have been acquainted with her character and actions for several years.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
But I told him, I would judge him by his own rule—by his actions, not by his professions.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
But he was forty, and the methods of that many years must still govern his actions.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
The question struck them both as particularly inane, in view of his actions.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
These pages may serve to record the actions of brave and skilful men.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
- the state or process of doing something or being active; operation
- something done, such as an act or deed
- movement or posture during some physical activity
- activity, force, or energya man of action
- (usually plural) conduct or behaviour
- 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
- the operating mechanism, esp in a piano, gun, watch, etc
- (of a guitar) the distance between the strings and the fingerboard
- (of keyboard instruments) the sensitivity of the keys to touch
- the force applied to a bodythe reaction is equal and opposite to the action
- the way in which something operates or works
- out of action not functioning
- 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
- the events that form the plot of a story, film, play, or other composition
- a minor engagement
- fighting at sea or on landhe saw action in the war
- philosophy behaviour which is voluntary and explicable in terms of the agent's reasons, as contrasted with that which is coerced or determined causally
- British short for industrial action
- informal the profits of an enterprise or transaction (esp in the phrase a piece of the action)
- slang the main activity, esp social activity
- to put into effect; take action concerningmatters decided at the meeting cannot be actioned until the following week
- a command given by a film director to indicate that filming is to beginSee also cue 1 (def. 8)
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.
- The state or process of acting or doing.
- A deed.
- A change that occurs in the body or in a bodily organ as a result of its functioning.
- Exertion of force or power.
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