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action - definition and synonyms


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noun action pronunciation in American English /ˈækʃ(ə)n/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [uncountable] the process of doing something, especially in order to stop a bad situation from developing or continuing
    Officials are not planning any immediate action.
    take action (=begin to do something to solve a particular problem): We urge the authorities to take action.
    course of action (=something that you do in order to achieve a particular purpose): We have three possible courses of action.
    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] the process of bringing a case to a court of law. This kind of action is also called legal action
      bring an action (against someone) (=start a legal process against someone): The magazine will fight the libel action brought by the singer.
    2. b.
      [countable/uncountable] the process of stopping work or working less effectively in order to protest about your pay, working conditions, etc.
      The strikers voted to suspend their action.
  2. 3
    [countable/uncountable] a movement that you make with your body
    She found herself copying his actions.
    reflex actions such as swallowing
    1. a.
      [singular/uncountable] the movement of an object as it works or makes progress, especially a particular kind of movement
      action of: This switch slows down the action of the pump.
      the erosive action of a great glacier
  3. 4
    [singular/uncountable] the effect that something such as a drug or chemical has
    the action of something (on something): the action of certain chemicals on the brain
  4. 5
    [uncountable] fighting that is part of a war
    Can military action be avoided?
    killed/missing/wounded in action: a list of soldiers missing in action
    see action (=take part in military fighting): We’ve been told we’re unlikely to see action.
  5. 6
    [singular/uncountable] informal all the exciting or important events that happen in a particular situation or place
    Where’s all the action in this town?
  6. 7
    [singular] the events that form part of a play or movie
    In Scene 1, the action takes place in an expensive restaurant.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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