AskDefine | Define action

Dictionary Definition



1 something done (usually as opposed to something said); "there were stories of murders and other unnatural actions"
2 the state of being active; "his sphere of activity"; "he is out of action" [syn: activity, activeness] [ant: inaction, inaction, inaction]
3 a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong [syn: legal action, action at law]
4 an act by a government body or supranational organization; "recent federal action undermined the segregationist position"; "the United Nations must have the power to propose and organize action without being hobbled by irrelevant issues"; "the Union action of emancipating Southern slaves"
5 a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea" [syn: military action]
6 a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings); "the action of natural forces"; "volcanic activity" [syn: natural process, natural action, activity]
7 the series of events that form a plot; "his novels always have a lot of action"
8 the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism; "the piano had a very stiff action" [syn: action mechanism]
9 the trait of being active and energetic and forceful; "a man of action"
10 the most important or interesting work or activity in a specific area or field; "the action is no longer in technology stocks but in municipal bonds"; "gawkers always try to get as close to the action as possible"


1 institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against; "He was warned that the district attorney would process him"; "She actioned the company for discrimination" [syn: sue, litigate, process]
2 put in effect; "carry out a task"; "execute the decision of the people"; "He actioned the operation" [syn: carry through, accomplish, execute, carry out, fulfill, fulfil]

User Contributed Dictionary



From noun of action actio doing or making, from perfect passive participle actus, from verb agere, + action suffix -io.


  • /ˈæk.ʃən/, /"

Extensive Definition

Action may refer to:

Music and culture

Politics and society


Businesses and organizations

  • Action (supermarkets), an Australian supermarket chain
  • ACTION (Australian Capital Territory Internal Omnibus Network), a public transport company
  • ACTION, a former United States government agency
  • Action Ambulance, an emergency care and ambulance service

Science and technology

action in Czech: Akce
action in German: Aktion
action in Spanish: Acción
action in French: Action
action in Galician: Acción
action in Italian: Azione
action in Malay (macrolanguage): Aksi
action in Dutch: Action
action in Japanese: アクション
action in Polish: Akcja
action in Portuguese: Ação
action in Romanian: Acţiune (dezambiguizare)
action in Russian: Акция
action in Slovak: Akcia
action in Tagalog: Aksyon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accomplished fact, accomplishment, achievement, act, acta, actions, activeness, activism, activity, acts, ad hoc measure, address, adventure, aerial combat, affectation, affray, agency, air, amphibious operations, anagnorisis, angle, answer, architectonics, architecture, argument, armored combat, artifice, atmosphere, automatic control, award, background, ball, battle, battle royal, bearing, behavior, behavior pattern, behavioral norm, behavioral science, big time, blow, brush, bullfight, business, carriage, cascade control, case, catastrophe, cause, cause in court, characterization, clash, clash of arms, clockworks, cockfight, color, combat, combined operations, complication, comportment, condemnation, conduct, conflict, consideration, continuity, contrivance, control action, countermove, coup, course of action, culture pattern, custom, dealings, decision, decree, deed, deliverance, demarche, demeanor, denouement, deportment, design, determination, development, device, diagnosis, dictum, direction, discharge, dodge, dogfight, doing, doings, doom, drive train, driving, dry run, effect, effectiveness, effectuation, effort, electronic control, embroilment, encounter, endeavor, energy, engagement, enterprise, episode, exchange of blows, execution, exercise, exertion, expedient, exploit, fable, fait accompli, falling action, feat, feedback control, fight, fighting, finding, fire fight, fluid operations, folkway, force, fray, fulfillment, fun, fun and games, function, functioning, funmaking, game, gear, gest, gestures, gimmick, go, goings-on, good time, great fun, ground combat, guise, hand, hand-to-hand combat, hand-to-hand fight, handiwork, handling, high old time, high time, house-to-house combat, improvisation, incident, influence, initiative, innards, job, judicial process, jury-rig, jury-rigged expedient, last expedient, last resort, last shift, laughs, lawsuit, legal action, legal case, legal proceedings, legal process, legal remedy, line, litigation, liveliness, local color, logistics, lovely time, machinery, maintien, makeshift, management, maneuver, maneuvers, manipulation, manner, manners, means, measure, mechanism, method, methodology, methods, mien, militancy, military operations, minor operations, mission, modus vivendi, mood, motif, motion, motions, move, movement, movements, moves, mythos, naval combat, observable behavior, occupation, operancy, operation, operations, order, overseas operations, overt act, passage, passage of arms, pattern, performance, performing, peripeteia, picnic, pis aller, pitched battle, plan, play, pleasant time, plot, poise, political activism, port, pose, posture, power, power train, practice, praxis, precedent, presence, procedure, proceeding, proceedings, process, production, prognosis, pronouncement, prosecution, quarrel, reaction, recognition, remedy, res gestae, resolution, resort, resource, responsibility, rising action, robot control, ruling, rumble, running, running fight, scheme, scramble, scrimmage, scuffle, secondary plot, sentence, servo control, servomechanism, shake-up, shift, shoving match, skirmish, slant, social science, solution, sortie, spirit, sport, staff work, stand-up fight, steering, step, stir, stopgap, story, stratagem, street fight, strength, stroke, stroke of policy, structure, struggle, stunt, style, subject, subplot, suit, suit at law, supervisory control, switch, tactic, tactics, tauromachy, temporary expedient, thematic development, theme, thing, thing done, tone, topic, tour de force, transaction, trick, trump, tug-of-war, turn, tussle, twist, undertaking, verdict, vigor, vim, vitality, war game, war plans, watchworks, way, way of life, ways, wheels, wheels within wheels, work, working, working hypothesis, working proposition, workings, works
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