The Alternative English Dictionary: action

Android app on Google Play

Entry definition

action {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English accion, from Old French action, from Latin āctiō, from āctus, perfect passive participle of agō, + action suffix -iō; see act. pronunciation
  • /ˈæk.ʃən/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
  2. A way of motion or functioning. Knead bread with a rocking action.
  3. A fast-paced activity. an action movie
  4. A mechanism; a moving part or assembly. a rifle action
  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.Marshall Cavendish Corporation [ ''Growing Up with Science''] p.1079
  6. (slang) sexual intercourse. She gave him some action.
  7. The distance separating the string and the fretboard on the guitar.
  8. (military) Combat. He saw some action in the Korean War.
  9. (legal) A charge or other process in a law court (also called lawsuit and actio).
  10. (mathematics) A mapping from a pairing of mathematical objects to one of them, respecting their individual structures. The pairing is typically a Cartesian product or a tensor product. The object that is not part of the output is said to act on the other object. In any given context, action is used as an abbreviation for a more fully named notion, like group action or left group action.
  11. 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.
  12. (art, painting and sculpture) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
  13. (bowling) spin put on the bowling ball.
  14. (business, obsolete, a Gallicism) A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds.
    • Burke The Euripus of funds and actions.
related terms: {{rel-top}}
  • act
  • agent
  • agency
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. Demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance. The director yelled ‘Action!’ before the camera started rolling.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  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.
  • The verb sense is rejected by some usage authorities.{{R:She Literally Exploded}}, page 3
  • atonic, cation

All Languages

Languages and entry counts