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action

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noun action pronunciation in British English /ˈækʃ(ə)n/ 
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singularaction
pluralactions
  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 drastic 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. b.
      [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 Prime Minister.

      See also  class 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.
      [countable/uncountable] a movement that goes with a children's song

      I'll sing and you can do the actions.

    2. b.
      [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 film

    In Scene 1, the action takes place in an expensive restaurant.

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