[sing-guh l-ak-shuh n]


(of a firearm) requiring the cocking of the hammer before firing each shot: a single-action revolver.

Origin of single-action

First recorded in 1850–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for single-action

Contemporary Examples of single-action

  • We're not talking hunting rifles here at all, or single-action handguns.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Guns Task Force

    Michael Tomasky

    December 19, 2012

Historical Examples of single-action

  • Unlike the single-action bee, whose barbed sting can be used but once, the hornet is a repeater.

    Wild Folk

    Samuel Scoville

  • Keeled under-cars for planes: single-action detaching-gear, turning car into boat with one motion of the wrist.

    With The Night Mail

    Rudyard Kipling

  • It is a very reliable weapon indeed, balances better than the single-action model, and possesses great smashing power.

    Camp and Trail

    Stewart Edward White

  • A light, single-action click reel of German silver or aluminum of fifty or sixty yards' capacity is the best.

    Bass, Pike, Perch, and Others

    James Alexander Henshall

  • On the contrary, single-action reels are made of rather numerous materials and certainly in varying degrees of desirability.

British Dictionary definitions for single-action



(modifier) (of a firearm) requiring the hammer to be cocked by hand before firing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012