Definitions for: Action

[n] something done (usually as opposed to something said); "there were stories of murders and other unnatural actions"
[n] 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"
[n] a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea"
[n] 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
[n] 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"
[n] the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism; "the piano had a very stiff action"
[n] the trait of being active and energetic and forceful; "a man of action"
[n] the series of events that form a plot; "his novels always have a lot of action"
[n] the state of being active; "his sphere of activity"; "he is out of action"

Webster (1913) Definition: Ac"tion, n. [OF. action, L. actio, fr. agere to do. See
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 on one body by another; agency; activity;
operation; as, the action of heat; a man of action.

One wise in council, one in action brave. --Pope.

2. An act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (pl.):
Habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor.

The Lord is a Good of knowledge, and by him actions
are weighed. --1 Sam. ii.

3. The event or connected series of events, either real or
imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other
composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.

4. Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.

5. (Mech.) Effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech
action of a gun.

6. (Physiol.) Any one of the active processes going on in an
organism; the performance of a function; as, the action of
the heart, the muscles, or the gastric juice.

7. (Orat.) Gesticulation; the external deportment of the
speaker, or the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures,
and countenance, to the subject, or to the feelings.

8. (Paint. & Sculp.) The attitude or position of the several
parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or
passion depicted.

9. (Law)
(a) A suit or process, by which a demand is made of a
right in a court of justice; in a broad sense, 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.
(b) A right of action; as, the law gives an action for
every claim.

10. (Com.) A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock
company, or in the public funds; hence, in the plural,
equivalent to stocks. [A Gallicism] [Obs.]

The Euripus of funds and actions. --Burke.

11. An engagement between troops in war, whether on land or
water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial

12. (Music) The mechanical contrivance by means of which the
impulse of the player's finger is transmitted to the
strings of a pianoforte or to the valve of an organ pipe.

Chose in action. (Law) See Chose.

Quantity of action (Physics), the product of the mass of a
body by the space it runs through, and its velocity.

Syn: Action, Act.

Usage: In many cases action and act are synonymous; but some
distinction is observable. Action involves the mode or
process of acting, and is usually viewed as occupying
some time in doing. Act has more reference to the
effect, or the operation as complete.

To poke the fire is an act, to reconcile friends
who have quarreled is a praiseworthy action.
--C. J. Smith.

Synonyms: action at law, action mechanism, activeness, activity, activity, legal action, military action, natural action, natural process

Antonyms: inaction, inactiveness, inactivity

See Also: absorption, accenting, accentuation, accomplishment, achievement, acidification, act, adiabatic process, aeration, agency, aggression, alienation, antiredeposition, antitrust case, arrival, battle, beatification, behavior, behaviour, benignity, biological process, blockade, busyness, capture, carrying into action, carrying out, cataphoresis, centrifugation, change, chemical action, chemical change, chemical process, choice, chromatography, clotting, coagulation, concretion, condensation, conflict, consultation, convection, counterclaim, course, course of action, curdling, custody case, decay, defence, defense, defensive measure, demagnetisation, demagnetization, desorption, destabilisation, destabilization, diffusion, disintegration, dissolution, distillation, distillment, drift, drive, ecesis, economy, effervescence, electronic warfare, electrophoresis, emphasizing, employment, encirclement, engagement, eructation, eruption, establishment, EW, execution, extinction, extraction, extravasation, feedback, fight, filtration, firing mechanism, flocculation, flow, forbiddance, formation, fossilisation, fossilization, fractional process, fractionation, geological process, group action, gun, gunlock, hardening, hostility, human action, human activity, ignition, inactivation, induction, inhibition, interaction, ion exchange, ionisation, ionization, key, keyboard, kindness, leach, leaching, legal proceeding, lis pendens, magnetic induction, magnetisation, magnetization, materialisation, materialization, mechanism, movement, nuclear reaction, opacification, operation, opposition, option, organic process, oscillation, oxygenation, pair creation, pair formation, pair production, performance, phase change, phase transition, physical change, piano action, pick, pickings, play, play, playing, plot, police action, precession of the equinoxes, proceeding, proceedings, process, prohibition, pump action, radiation, reference, resistance, saber rattling, sabre rattling, sally, saving, selection, set, slide action, solidification, solidifying, sortie, state, state change, stupefaction, swing, taking, test case, test suit, thing, transfusion, transgression, war, warfare, work

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