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Header of action


Action appears in the following palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • No, it can assess an action.
  • Mined for allocated action, we sew no IT cadet a collar of denim.
  • No, it can, as it is, it is a war. Raw as it is, it is an action.
View more palindromes!

Usage statistics for the noun action:

spoken English25.32%written English74.68% conversational speech12.21%task-oriented speech87.79% imaginative writing18.1%informational writing81.9%
View more statistics!
Video footage: Professional footballer is happy and slides with his hands to the air. Another soccer player runs after him happily. Action takes place on soccer stadium. Stadium and crowd are made in 3D.
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Definition of the noun action

What does action mean as a name of something?

Action is one of the top 1000 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 100 most common nouns in informational written English.View more statistics!

noun - plural: actions

  1. something done (usually as opposed to something said)
  2. the state of being active
    • example: he is out of action
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonyms of action: activeness / activity
    • antonym of action: inaction
    • more generic word: state = the way something is with respect to its main attributes
    • more specific words:
      • agency = the state of being in action or exerting power
      • busyness / hum = the state of being or appearing to be actively engaged in an activity
      • behaviour / behavior = the action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances
      • extravasation / eructation / eruption = pouring out fumes or lava
      • operation = the state of being in effect or being operative
      • overdrive = the state of high or excessive activity or productivity or concentration
      • play = a state in which action is feasible
      • swing = a state of steady vigorous action that is characteristic of an activity
    • attribute: active = erupting or liable to erupt
  3. a military engagement
  4. a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)
    • example: the action of natural forces
    • lexical domain: Natural Processes - nouns denoting natural processes
    • synonyms of action: activity / natural action / natural process
    • more generic terms: physical process / process = a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
    • more specific terms:
      • radiation = the spread of a group of organisms into new habitats
      • absorption = the process in which incident radiated energy is retained without reflection or transmission on passing through a medium
      • acidification = the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid
      • adiabatic process = any process that occurs without gain or loss of heat
      • aeration = the process of exposing to air
      • antiredeposition = the process of preventing redeposition
      • capture = any process in which an atomic or nuclear system acquires an additional particle
      • capture = a process whereby a star or planet holds an object in its gravitational field
      • centrifugation = the process of separating substances of different densities by the use of a centrifuge
      • chemical process / chemical action / chemical change = any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved
      • chromatography = a process used for separating mixtures by virtue of differences in absorbency
      • concretion = the formation of stonelike objects within a body organ
      • condensation = the process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid or solid state
      • convection = the vertical movement of heat or other properties by massive motion within the atmosphere
      • coagulation / clotting / curdling = the process of forming semisolid lumps in a liquid
      • decay = the process of gradually becoming inferior
      • demagnetisation / demagnetization = the process of removing magnetization
      • desorption = changing from an adsorbed state on a surface to a gaseous or liquid state
      • diffusion = the process in which there is movement of a substance from an area of high concentration of that substance to an area of lower concentration
      • disintegration / dissolution = separation into component parts
      • distillation / distillment = the process of purifying a liquid by boiling it and condensing its vapors
      • drift = the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences
      • effervescence = the process of bubbling as gas escapes
      • electrophoresis / dielectrolysis / cataphoresis / ionophoresis = the motion of charged particles in a colloid under the influence of an electric field
      • establishment / ecesis = the process by which a plant or animal becomes established in a new habitat
      • extinction = the reduction of the intensity of radiation as a consequence of absorption and radiation
      • extraction = the process of obtaining something from a mixture or compound by chemical or physical or mechanical means
      • feedback = the process in which part of the output of a system is returned to its input in order to regulate its further output
      • filtration = the process whereby fluids pass through a filter or a filtering medium
      • flocculation = the process of flocculating
      • flow = any uninterrupted stream or discharge
      • formation = natural process that causes something to form
      • fossilisation / fossilization = the process of fossilizing a plant or animal that existed in some earlier age
      • geological process / geologic process = a natural process whereby geological features are modified
      • solidification / solidifying / hardening / curing / set = the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling or drying or crystallization
      • inactivation = the process of rendering inactive
      • ion exchange = a process in which ions are exchanged between a solution and an insoluble (usually resinous) solid
      • ionisation / ionization = the process of ionizing
      • leaching / leach = the process of leaching
      • magnetic induction / magnetisation / magnetization = the process that makes a substance magnetic
      • materialisation / materialization = the process of coming into being
      • nuclear reaction = a process that alters the energy or structure or composition of atomic nuclei
      • opacification = the process of becoming cloudy or opaque
      • oscillation = the process of oscillating between states
      • oxygenation = the process of providing or combining or treating with oxygen
      • pair production / pair formation / pair creation = the transformation of a gamma-ray photon into an electron and a positron when the photon passes close to an atomic nucleus
      • phase transition / physical change / phase change / state change = a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition
      • precession of the equinoxes = a slow westward shift of the equinoxes along the plane of the ecliptic caused by precession of the Earth's axis of rotation
      • release = a process that liberates or discharges something
      • saltation = the leaping movement of sand or soil particles as they are transported in a fluid medium over an uneven surface
      • scattering = the physical process in which particles are deflected haphazardly as a result of collisions
      • sericulture = raising silkworms in order to obtain raw silk
      • sink = a process that acts to absorb or remove energy or a substance from a system
      • soakage / soaking / soak = the process of becoming softened and saturated as a consequence of being immersed in water
      • softening = the process of becoming softer
      • sorption = the process in which one substance takes up or holds another
      • source = a process by which energy or a substance enters a system
      • rigidification / rigidifying / stiffening = the process of becoming stiff or rigid
      • stimulation = the effect of a stimulus
      • ecological succession / succession = the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established
      • survival of the fittest / natural selection / selection / survival = a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
      • synergism / synergy = the working together of two things (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects
      • temperature change = a process whereby the degree of hotness of a body (or medium) changes
      • transduction = the process whereby a transducer accepts energy in one form and gives back related energy in a different form
      • transpiration = the passage of gases through fine tubes because of differences in pressure or temperature
      • vitrification = the process of becoming vitreous
  5. the series of events that form a plot
    • example: his novels always have a lot of action
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic word: plot = the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.
  6. the trait of being active and energetic and forceful
    • example: a man of action
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • more generic word: drive = the trait of being highly motivated
  7. the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism
    • example: the piano had a very stiff action
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of action: action mechanism
    • more generic word: mechanism = device consisting of a piece of machinery
    • more specific terms:
      • firing mechanism / gunlock = the action that ignites the charge in a firearm
      • movement = the driving and regulating parts of a mechanism
      • piano action = action consisting of a system of levers that move a felt hammer to strike the strings when a key is depressed
      • slide action / pump action = action mechanism in a modern rifle or shotgun
    • part of: gun = a weapon that discharges a missile at high velocity; keyboard = device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
    • part: key = a lever (as in a keyboard) that actuates a mechanism when depressed
  8. 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
  9. an act by a government body or supranational organization
    • examples: 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
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic term: group action = action taken by a group of people
  10. the most important or interesting work or activity in a specific area or field
    • examples: the action is no longer in technology stocks but in municipal bonds | gawkers always try to get as close to the action as possible
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic word: work = activity directed toward making or doing something

Alternative definition of the noun action


  1. Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
  2. A way of motion or functioning.
  3. A fast-paced activity.
  4. A mechanism; a moving part or assembly.
  5. [music]: The mechanism, that is the set of moving mechanical parts, of a keyboard instrument, like a piano, which transfers the motion of the key to the sound-making device.
  6. [slang] sexual intercourse.
  7. The distance separating the strings and the fretboard on the guitar.
  8. [military] Combat.
  9. [legal] A charge or other process in a law court (also called lawsuit and actio).
  10. [mathematics] A homomorphism from a group to a group of automorphisms.

Specialised definition of the noun action

Glossary of sports

the way somebody or something moves or works, or the movement itself (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

energetic activity (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

the fact of doing something. (2008. Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism. Third edition. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

out of action out of order, not working (2008. Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism. Third edition. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / bowling

spin on the ball and the movement of the pins caused by that spin. A relatively slow ball with a lot of action can be much more effective than a very fast ball with little action

Glossary of sports / wrestling

the referee's command to the competitors to start wrestling (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

referees command to the wrestlers to start wrestling

Definition of the verb action

What does action mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: actioned | actioning | actions

  1. institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against
    • example: She actioned the company for discrimination
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonyms of action: litigate / process / sue
    • more generic word: challenge = issue a challenge to
    • more specific word: expedite = process fast and efficiently
  2. put in effect

Alternative definition of the verb action


  1. [transitive, management] To act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect.
  2. [transitive, chiefly archaic] To initiate a legal action against someone.

Other definitions of action

What does action also mean?


  1. Demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance.


  1. "Action" a.k.a. "Agnichakra" is a 1997 Bollywood film directed by Amit Suryavanshi and produced by Piyush Shah. It stars Naseeruddin Shah, Govinda and Dimple Kapadia in pivotal roles.
  2. "Action" is a 1980 Italian black comedy directed by Tinto Brass. The film is reminiscent of the director's earlier avant-garde low-budget works such as The Howl and Nerosubianco.
    • country: Italy
    • language: Italian Language
    • cinematography by Silvano Ippoliti
    • edited by Tinto Brass
    • genres: Black comedy, Drama
    • released on (35 years ago)
  3. "Action" is a film, directed by Jeetendra Madnani.
    • countries: Bangladesh, India
    • language: Bengali Language
    • genres: Action Film, Bengali Cinema, World cinema
    • released on
  4. "Action" is a 1921 American Western film directed by John Ford and featuring Hoot Gibson. It was based on Peter B. Kyne's popular novel The Three Godfathers. The film is considered to be lost. According to contemporaneous newspaper reports, Action was based on J. Allan Dunn's novel, The Mascotte of the Three Star; Mascotte appeared as the lead novel in the pulp magazine Short Stories, February 1921.
    • country: United States of America
    • languages: English Language, Silent film
    • starring: Hoot Gibson
    • genres: Silent film, Western, Black-and-white, Indie film
    • released on (93 years ago)
  5. "Action" is a 1989 Bollywood film directed by Amit Suryavanshi and starring Govinda, Dimple Kapadia, Brando Bakshi and Naseeruddin Shah. The movie was started in the year, however, it was released in 1997.


Action is a fictional character from the 1961 film West Side Story.


Action a.k.a. Action Film is a film genre in which one or more heroes are thrust into a series of challenges that typically include physical feats, extended fight scenes, violence, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful character struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which generally concludes in victory for the hero.

Phrases with Action

Phrases starting with the word Action:

  1. Action Man
  2. Action Doll
  3. Action item
  4. Action plan
  5. Action Star
  6. Action Verb
  7. Action Group
  8. Action Movie
  9. action plant
  10. Action Verbs

Phrases ending with the word Action:

  1. In Action
  2. job action
  3. Bolt action
  4. Live action
  5. mass action
  6. pump action
  7. take action
  8. Took Action
  9. civil action
  10. class action

View more phrases with the word Action in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Action

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewCode de Procédure Civile de L'état de la Louisiane (1839)

by Louisiana, Wheelock Samuel Upton

A personal action is that by which a person proceeds against one who is personally bound towards him, either by a contract...

Google previewA Theory of Individual Behavior (1997)

by Robert Wichers

By definition, an action is the difference between two n-coordinate points; equivalently, an action is an n-vector. Just as each...

Google previewAction Analysis for Animators (2012)

by Chris Webster

Action refers to a type of animated movement that we can associate directly with a particular object or thing.

Google previewAn Almanac of Contemporary Judicial Restatements (Administration of Justice and Evidence) vol. ia (2015)

Almanac vol. ia by Oshisanya, 'lai Oshitokunbo

Action is a simple term that means a lawsuit brought before our courts in the form of a formal complaint stating the grievance of...

Google previewThe Act of Thinking (2004)

by Derek Melser

Verbs and Actions and Things . . . action is that which is expressed by verbs. The distinction between...

Google previewHuman Services Management (2012)

Organizational Leadership in Social Work Practice by David Austin

The first action is the decision to levy a tax of some form on individuals/ households, property, or corporations or other forms of...

Google previewWisdom of the Gita (1992)

Second Series by Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose

Action — three kinds: tamasic action is that done with a confused, deluded, ignorant mind, in mechanical obedience to the instincts, impulsions and unseeing ideas, without regarding the strength or capacity or the waste and loss of blind ...

Google previewThe Pose Method of Triathlon Techniques (2008)

A New Paradigm in Triathlon by Nicholas Romanov, John Robson

Action is the culminating point in the complex process of perception and thoughts . Correct action leads us to the specific change we would like to make, based on our existing level of perception and the desire to progress to an even higher, ...

Google previewDistributed Systems (2006)

An Algorithmic Approach by Sukumar Ghosh

An action is an internal action, when a process performs computations in its own address space resulting in the...

An action is a communication action, when a process sends a message to another process, or receives a message from another ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Human Resource Management, Key Topics and Issues (2012)

action means that set members engage in learning from experience in order to change rather than simply repeat previous patterns (McGill...

Google previewLingua Tersancta, Or, A Most Sure and Compleat Allegorick Dictionary to the Holy Language of the Spirit (1703)

Carefully and Faithfully Expounding and Illustrating All the Several Words Or Divine Symbols in Dream, Vision, and Apparition, & C by William Freke

Action. Ditch, vid. Estate in Earth. Divers, vid. Quality. DIVERSION. vid. Passion. Divination, vid. Spirits. Divine, vid. Religion. Division, vid. Part. Divorce, vid. Religion. Dizzy, vid. Soul. Dogs, -v id. Beast. Doing, vid. Action.

Google previewEncyclopedia of the New York School Poets (2015)

The term action painting, coined by Harold Rosenberg in an essay in Art Newsin 1952,designates what was most important to the first generation of New York School poets in contemporary avantgarde painting. Rosenberg's term implies, first ...

Google previewAsian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (2015)

An Encyclopedia by Huping Ling, Allan W. Austin

Affirmative action is defined as a policy or set of programs designed to give ethnic minorities (and sometimes women) preference in hiring, contracting, or admission to educational institutions, in order to redress the effects of past discrimination ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience (2010)

discriminative stimuli S R outcome instrumental action representations lever- pressing ...

Google previewDictionary of Nursing Theory and Research (2010)

Fourth Edition by Bethel Ann Powers, Thomas R. Knapp

Action research is applied research that is oriented toward producing innovation and change. Social psychologist Kurt Lewin (1890–1947) coined the term and described the process as a cycle ofsteps designed for *problem solving in social ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Immigrant Health (2012)

by Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Participatory action is a voice-centered relational method in which researcher and participant act together during all stages. The voices of the participants are central to the development and outcome of the project. The collaborative relationship ...

Google previewLeadership Lexicon (2005)

by Bellingham Rick, Rick Bellingham, William O'Brien

Action: • Proactively clarify the "business value" of specific opportunities or strategies with team members (e.g., ROI, margins, business impact). Skill: Get help from content experts. Action: • Get help from a financial /budget professional to help ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Action

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Usage statistics about action

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the noun action:

spoken English25.32%written English74.68% conversational speech12.21%task-oriented speech87.79% imaginative writing18.1%informational writing81.9%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun action:


Comparison of usage frequency between the noun action and its most common antonym:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb action:


Photos about Action

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View more pictures about In Action and Action figure.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Action Camera Mounted On Mountain BikeSmall photo of ACT - Action Changes ThingsSmall photo of Happy crazy couple taking selfie photo with action camera in aqua park - Young people having fun in summer holidays with technology trends - Vacation, youth, love and travel concept - Focus on facesSmall photo of Action Camera Mounted On Mountain BikeSmall photo of Hand writing inscription Call To Action with marker, conceptSmall photo of small modern action camera, action camera removes sea viewSmall photo of Making selfie underwater with action camera. Couple snorkeling in deep blue sea. More...

Video language resources about Action

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View more videos about In Action, The Action, Action plan, Action Verb, Live action, Group action, Direct action, Holding action, Cause of action, Action potential, Capillary action, Executive Action, and Affirmative action.

See also the pronunciation examples of Action!

Sign language

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Quotes about Action

Good action boost
Not dampened
Good action has
No retrograde approach.
It is you only
Who can say
Which action is good
And which action is bad
After the result received. (Gajanan Mishra)
more quotes about action...

Scrabble value of A1C3T1I1O1N1

The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of ACTION

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See also the blanagrams of Action!

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