ac|tion [ `ækʃən ] noun ***
▸ 1 process of doing something
▸ 2 something someone does
▸ 3 movement
▸ 4 effect of drug/chemical
▸ 5 fighting in war
▸ 6 exciting events
▸ 7 events in play/movie
1. ) uncount the process of doing something, especially in order to stop a bad situation from developing or continuing:
Officials are not planning any immediate action.
take action (=begin to do something to solve a particular problem): We urge the authorities to take action.
course of action (=something that you do in order to achieve a particular purpose): We have three possible courses of action.
a ) count or uncount the process of bringing a case to a court of law. This kind of action is also called legal action:
bring an action (against someone) (=start a legal process against someone): The magazine will fight the libel action brought by the singer.
b ) count or uncount the process of stopping work or working less effectively in order to protest about your pay, working conditions, etc.:
Twenty strikers voted to suspend their action.
2. ) count something you do, especially something that seems wrong or unusual to other people:
How can you justify your actions?
3. ) count or uncount a movement that you make with your body:
She found herself copying his actions.
reflex actions such as swallowing
a ) singular or uncount action of the movement of an object as it works or makes progress, especially a particular kind of movement:
This switch slows down the action of the pump.
the erosive action of a great glacier
4. ) singular or uncount the effect that something such as a drug or chemical has:
the action of something (on something): the action of certain chemicals on the brain
5. ) uncount fighting that is part of a war:
Can military action be avoided?
killed/missing/wounded in action: a list of soldiers missing in action
see action (=take part in military fighting): We've been told we're unlikely to see action.
6. ) singular INFORMAL all the exciting or important events that happen in a particular situation or place:
Where's all the action in this town?
7. ) singular the events that form part of a play or movie:
In Scene 1, the action takes place in an expensive restaurant.
actions speak louder than words
used for saying that what you do is more important than what you say you will do
in action
1. ) doing what you are good at or what you are trained to do:
It's interesting to watch a good salesman in action.
2. ) doing what something is designed to do:
How long before we can see the new ski lifts in action?
out of action
1. ) if someone is out of action, they are injured or too sick to perform their usual activities:
Her broken wrist will put her out of action for at least a month.
2. ) if something is out of action, it cannot be used, for example because it is broken or is being repaired or cleaned:
The swimming pool is currently out of action.
put something into action
to start using something such as a plan or idea:
Our plans aren't quite ready to be put into action.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • action — ac·tion n [Latin actio legal proceeding, from agere to do, carry out, initiate legal proceedings] 1 a: a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense …   Law dictionary

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  • Action — Ac tion, n. [OF. action, L. actio, fr. agere to do. See {Act}.] 1. A process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force, as when one body acts on another; the effect of power exerted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • action — et besongne, Pragma, Actio. Action et droit de poursuyvre en justice ce qui nous est deu, Actio. Action de grace, Gratulatio, Gratiarum actio. Action personnelle, Condictio, Actio in personam. Action réelle, Actio in rem. Action petitoire,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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  • action — 1 Action, act, deed agree in designating something done or effected. Action refers primarily to the process of acting; act and deed to the result, the thing done. An action is usually regarded as occupying some time and involving more than one… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • action — [ak′shən] n. [ME accion < OFr action < L actio < pp. of agere: see ACT1] 1. the doing of something; state of being in motion or of working 2. an act or thing done 3. [pl.] behavior; habitual conduct 4. habitual activity characterized by… …   English World dictionary

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