/ˈækʃən / (say 'akshuhn)

1. the process or state of acting or of being active: *He never tired of watching these, whether they were in action or at rest. –xavier herbert, 1938.
2. something done; an act; deed: *Her eyes held his, as though her extraordinary action had a purpose they both understood. –c.j. koch, 1978.
3. (plural) habitual or usual acts; conduct.
4. energetic activity: *and he now had that touching puzzlement of the man of action for whom the complexities of other people have suddenly become too much. –c.j. koch, 1978.
5. an exertion of power or force: the action of wind upon a ship's sails.
6. Physiology a change in organs, tissues, or cells leading to performance of a function, as in muscular contraction.
7. way or manner of moving: *the action of the ship, together with the cluttered nature of the deck, soon forced her to let go of his arm. –patrick white, 1976.
8. the mechanism by which something is operated, as that of a breech-loading rifle or a piano.
9. Physics
a. a force exerted by one object on a second object (as opposed to reaction, the equal and opposite force exerted by the second object on the first). See Newton's laws.
b. the difference between the kinetic and potential energies of a mechanical system integrated over time.
10. a small battle.
11. military and naval combat.
12. the main subject or story, as distinguished from an incidental episode.
13. Drama
a. one of the three unities. See unity (def. 10).
b. an event or happening that is part of a dramatic plot: the action of a scene; a bit of action.
14. the gestures or deportment of an actor or speaker.
15. Fine Arts the appearance of animation, movement, or passion given to figures by their attitude, position, or expression.
16. Law
a. a proceeding instituted by one party against another: *he would be glad to take up the case, if only to try his hand again in civil action, though of course he could also do with the fee. –xavier herbert, 1938.
b. the right of bringing it.
verb (t)
17. to take action concerning: I will action your request.
18. to bring about a desired action in relation to (something).
19. Film, TV (a cue to actors or subjects after the camera and sound recorder have begun to roll, signalling them to commence their action.)
20. a piece of the action, Colloquial a share in an activity or enterprise, especially a profitable one.
21. be out of action,
a. to be non-functional.
b. to be unable to participate, especially as a result of injury.
22. take action, to commence legal proceedings.
23. the action, the centre of all the excitement: close to the action.
{Latin actio; replacing Middle English accion, from Old French}
actionless, adjective

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


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