Definition of action in English:

action

noun

  • 1mass noun The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

    ‘ending child labour will require action on many levels’
    ‘strike action was threatened’
    • ‘I know that some have argued that we should take action to achieve a very much smaller population.’
    • ‘She said emissions to air, waste management and water eutrophication required urgent action.’
    • ‘Elections are the paramount means for influencing governmental action.’
    • ‘He was also a source of ideas and plans for covert action to influence the course of the war.’
    • ‘Secondly, we may consider the effects of human action on the environment itself.’
    • ‘But the speech had had the desired effect: public health action had finally been galvanised.’
    • ‘Postal services could be hit by prolonged strike action over plans to process North Yorkshire's mail in Leeds at weekends.’
    • ‘Both unions have threatened strike action if their demands are not met.’
    • ‘One of the callers threatened to take action against the attackers.’
    • ‘Their action had the desired effect of restoring confidence in the market and helped the bullion price to begin its recent recovery.’
    • ‘With the local prosecutor declining to take action, the issue has probably peaked.’
    • ‘As with all security audits, should the results require remedial action, such actions will be taken.’
    • ‘I did in fact take action at that time on advice from officials to address these concerns.’
    • ‘If so, it is important to know your rights and how to take action against unfair work practices.’
    • ‘The congressman behind the report will tell us how he's planning to take action.’
    • ‘Assuming that the figures are an effective measure of overall hospital performance, what action should then follow?’
    • ‘It would take a change in the minister of state to really effect some action.’
    • ‘When we demand the government take action in a field we no nothing about we are courting disaster.’
    • ‘People need to write their Congressmen about this and demand the Army take action.’
    • ‘What can be done about it and what effects will any action have on the rest of the economy and the environment?’
    steps, measures, activity, movement, work, working, effort, exertion, operation
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    1. 1.1The way in which something such as a chemical has an effect or influence.
      ‘the seeds require the catalytic action of water to release heat’
      • ‘Syrup alone may act as a demulcent and provide antitussive action without side effects.’
      • ‘Problems included unspecified dosages, unclear information about drug action, and side effects of drugs.’
      • ‘When all the finish is removed, apply a neutralizer to stop the chemical action.’
      • ‘Prevent major spills which can form a hard glaze and destroy the chemical oxidizing action.’
      • ‘That very specificity of chemical action is often a highly prized medicinal property.’
      • ‘I think the chemical action of light is to be regarded in this way.’
      • ‘The Hox genes exert this influence by their action on the genes controlling the development of these structures.’
      • ‘For outdoor metal sculpture waxing at least once a year is essential to protect the metal from chemical action.’
      • ‘Therefore the area of the roadway in question had been subject to the detrimental effects of frost action.’
      • ‘The tetrodo-toxin produced has a selective blocking effect on nerve action potentials.’
      • ‘Onset of action is rapid and side effects include local irritation and unpleasant taste.’
      • ‘This effect could be the consequence of the anti-proliferative action of glucocorticoids.’
      • ‘The precise mechanism of the biological actions of this plant is not fully understood.’
      • ‘Considering the different mechanisms of the action of the two drugs, different protective effects are suggested.’
      effect, influence, power, working, work
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    2. 1.2
      ‘the rank and file want to call the action off’
      • ‘After two derailments on the tube in as many days, the RMT is balloting for action on London Underground.’
      • ‘Pickets were to be out again at the Arndale on Friday of this week, the TUC's day of action to defend pensions.’
      • ‘The apparent rejection of collective action has lead to trade union membership remaining low.’
      • ‘You have to go back to 1976 to find pan-Canadian united action by the trade union movement.’
      • ‘Let a union declare that it wishes to take Secondary action in an industrial dispute and it is a disgrace.’
      • ‘The action involved trade unions involved in the health and service industry.’
      • ‘We will be working hard to deliver as many services as possible during the forthcoming action planned by the RMT.’
      • ‘The drivers took their second day of action on Thursday of last week with a solid 24 hour strike.’
      • ‘When the workers walked out the company sacked them for taking unofficial action.’
      • ‘Refusing to work or take on duties on health and safety grounds is not secondary action.’
      • ‘This week's action by the POA was the first industrial dispute at any Irish prison for well over a decade.’
      • ‘As many as 100,000 academics and support staff were taking part in a national day of action to protest against the offer.’
      • ‘The Government responded by making it clear there were no plans to review the law on secondary action.’
      • ‘If the firefighters strike there is a distinct possibility that other workers may take solidarity action.’
      • ‘A union is calling for a national day of action to protest at plans to increase the retirement age for civil servants.’
      • ‘The ripple effects of the week-long action spread into other areas of life.’
      • ‘Nursery nurses claim the council has provoked the action by ignoring their arguments for an increase in their hourly rate.’
      • ‘The unofficial action began at 8am when pickets were placed outside the station.’
      • ‘The action began on May 18 when 800 staff walked off the job in Watford in south England.’
      • ‘Their action began three weeks after the annual wage negotiations with the company reached a stalemate.’
    3. 1.3The events represented in a story or play.
      ‘the action is set in a country house’
      • ‘The action of the story divides between this rural backdrop and Helsinki, to which Eeva eventually flees.’
      • ‘Yes the story and action is horrific at times but Ray and Kathy put in such excellent performances.’
      • ‘Time. Used to define the limits of the story and around which action is organized.’
      • ‘Yet, compared to Deus Ex, it seems to have far less action and far more story.’
      • ‘An ability to penetrate the superficialities of the story and action to see the moral truths expressed therein.’
      • ‘This film is closely inspired by and links to the story, characters and action of Driver 3.’
      • ‘There isn't actually a lot of dramatic action happening - much of the story revolves around the psychology.’
      • ‘It is set about two hundred years ago, at the time of the Napoleonic wars; the action takes place mostly in England.’
      • ‘While the action sometimes moved a little too slowly, there were plenty of funny scenes to keep things bubbling along.’
      • ‘As the action moves from Königsberg to Cambridge, such ironies build and become more acute.’
      • ‘Ralph the Heir was written in spring and summer 1869 - the same period that the novel's action is set.’
      • ‘Jackson is back for the sequel, playing the tough Security Agency head, and this time the action is set in Washington DC.’
    4. 1.4informal Exciting or notable activity.
      ‘the weekend sporting action begins on Saturday’
      ‘people in media want to be where the action is’
      • ‘On some days it was difficult for visitors to know which way to look because there was just so much exciting wildlife action going on around them.’
      • ‘Things got off to a slow start but by mid afternoon there was non stop action.’
      • ‘At one level, the movie is about science fiction, kung fu, firearms and non-stop action.’
      • ‘Hollywood is hot, but this is where the action is and sometimes it is fun to be where the action is.’
      • ‘So a CEO has to spend time where the action is, or you're not going to get the true picture.’
      • ‘It also helped that I play a lot of video games in a similar effort to infuse my life with nonstop action.’
      • ‘On the eve of his 100th birthday, Gaston suffered a stroke, but it didn't stop his drive to be ‘to be where the action’ was where the action was.’
      • ‘So probably not much exciting, government-toppling action for me sadly.’
      • ‘The first sporting action will be at Hampden Park where the football tournament will kick off.’
      • ‘Thankfully, that proved to be unfounded and we can continue to savour the prospect of some exciting action.’
      • ‘Well chapter 7 is done, and with it the first real action in the story so far, from my point of view at least.’
      • ‘Excitement, glamour, exposure, top sporting action, cash by the barrow-load.’
      • ‘It will be in place on match-days so that fans can catch up on the latest Sunday sporting action before and after the Knights home matches.’
      • ‘My only criticism is that perhaps there could have been a little more exciting action.’
      • ‘Exciting racing action throughout the weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.’
      • ‘The pair will present a brand new weekend show covering all the latest sporting action from across the globe.’
      • ‘It was a complete jump away from slow-moving stories to one containing action and excitement.’
      • ‘The film is funny and exciting, with non-stop action and set pieces.’
      • ‘Five games on each day of the carnival means that there is non-stop action throughout the weekend.’
      • ‘The second half was brimful of exciting action, even if the scoring returns were nothing to crow about.’
      excitement, activity, bustle
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    5. 1.5as exclamation Used by a film director as a command to begin.
      ‘lights, camera, action’
      • ‘Once he has his quarry in his sights, it's ready, aim, fire, lights, camera, action for this freedom-loving documentarian.’
      • ‘Jayson pointed the camera, Eric called ‘Action’ and Chris ran with an expression of terror on his face.’
      • ‘I had to make a living and I wanted to get behind a camera and shout ‘action’.’
      • ‘Everyone went into their places, and then Stephen called out, ‘Lights, camera, action!’’
  • 2A thing done; an act.

    ‘she frequently questioned his actions’
    • ‘The wider issue is the question of the state's behaviour and whether its actions were responsible.’
    • ‘It's all well and good to perform these actions in response to the alarm clock if that's what happens every day.’
    • ‘The scene requires viewers to question the actions and reactions of characters in a highly complex situation.’
    • ‘Welcome to the real world people, a world of personal responsibility where actions can generate reactions.’
    • ‘You alone are responsible for your own actions and behavior in life.’
    • ‘It is not your responsibility to control their actions and behavior.’
    • ‘They knew that complaining about her actions could raise questions about their conduct and did it anyway.’
    • ‘The consumer is king and it is the consumer who must accept a little more responsibility for the actions of global companies that are only reacting to our whims.’
    • ‘When will she take responsibility for her own actions?’
    • ‘But there is also a perceived need on the part of governments to build up a momentum in public opinion both to justify its actions and bury awkward questions.’
    • ‘There comes a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.’
    • ‘The book is a sustained diatribe questioning Churchill's actions from the early 1930s through 1941.’
    • ‘Notwithstanding his off-field actions, no one questions Carey's commitment to the concept of team.’
    • ‘The legislation will raise further questions in relation to actions open to an employer if a drug test proves positive, he said.’
    • ‘A nurse has told a jury she did not feel able to question the actions of a colleague who mistakenly gave a toddler an incorrect injection.’
    • ‘Our group largely agreed but added that the police response to our actions would play a decisive role in how far things would escalate.’
    • ‘Our country was founded in response to the actions of an over-reaching, hegemonic empire.’
    • ‘Bacon accepts no responsibility for your drunken actions if this is attempted!’
    • ‘Increasingly dog-tired and conflicted, his actions often seem those of a guilty man.’
    • ‘However, the actions of corporations do have effects on the environment, society, and culture, etc.’
    deed, act, activity, move, gesture, undertaking, exploit, manoeuvre, achievement, accomplishment, venture, enterprise, endeavour, effort, exertion
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    1. 2.1A gesture or movement.
      ‘his actions emphasized his words’
      • ‘The darkness of winter slows the city's heartbeat, making our every action or movement an effort.’
      • ‘His movements contradicted the others' actions, his steps were graceful and quiet like that of a doe.’
      • ‘No words, just clean efficient movement and actions.’
      • ‘This workshop was the first phase of a training programme in which the kids learnt how to create expressions, actions and movements of characters.’
      • ‘The actors, in their movements and actions, too remind one of theatrical expressions that are wholly Malayali in origin.’
      • ‘What is meant by movement is specific actions of the weapon and body.’
      • ‘Her actions and movements sluggish and purposefully so, she has a bad feeling.’
      • ‘Simple actions and words are put at a premium when they aren't used to buoy a Message of Personal and Social Importance.’
      • ‘How was it possible for someone as dumb and arrogant as Heath to make me blush with a simple action or word?’
      • ‘But their movement and actions are depicted with expressiveness and drama.’
      • ‘Rue fumed silently as he hummed contentedly and she watched him closely, studying his movements and actions.’
      • ‘Some levels will have you performing the same movements and actions for ten minutes only to get you to a room with no purpose.’
      • ‘It's important to express our love through words and actions, kissing and hugging our children often.’
      • ‘They do not perform actions, and their movements and modifications are not caused by motives, for the simple reason that they have no minds with which to perceive.’
      • ‘They learn that gestures and actions are a form of communication and begin to say a few ‘real’ words.’
      • ‘He doesn't tend to speak, rather communicate in actions and gestures.’
      • ‘He was slightly taken back by her action yet returned the gesture, content to have her small frame in his arms.’
      • ‘For many years it has been known that rock failure is complex, and results from the many stresses arising from the combined movements and actions of the tooth of a rock bit.’
      • ‘Movement and actions were scripted superbly, which is immediately evident when engaged for the first time in battle.’
      • ‘Christopher also bent down to the parcel, concealing his and her actions with a turned back and diminished movements.’
  • 3The way in which something works or moves.

    ‘the weapon has a smooth action’
    • ‘The tray slides along the rails in a very smooth action, and is held in place with four thumbscrews.’
    • ‘One of the things that gives the gun such a smooth action is the fact that the action bar and magazine tube move together.’
    • ‘The heart's pumping action pushes the blood around the body through the arteries.’
    • ‘An anti-runway warhead which is equipped with a delayed action fuse has the capability of penetrating reinforced concrete runways to a depth of nearly 0.5m.’
    • ‘In 1855 he entered Nicaragua with a small band of mercenaries armed with a new type of quick-action rifle.’
    1. 3.1The mechanism that makes a machine or instrument work.
      ‘a piano with an escapement action’
      • ‘His actions are machined from pre heat-treated 4140 bar stock using all carbide tooling.’
      • ‘He moved the slide action back and forth, checking that the movement was smooth enough to meet his satisfaction.’
      • ‘Most bolt actions will fit the cartridge without bolt modification and bullets up to .35 caliber can be fitted into some variation of the case.’
      machinery, workings, works, movement, motion, action, gear, gears, wheels, components, motor, engine, power source
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  • 4mass noun Armed conflict.

    ‘servicemen listed as missing in action during the war’
    • ‘A former soldier who was in the thick of the action during the War told how he had met his match - in York.’
    • ‘He saw early action in North Africa, where he was awarded a Military Cross and bar.’
    • ‘Most National Guard and Reservists sign up thinking they'll never see action, let alone deployment overseas.’
    • ‘Wayne's body has never been found, he is listed as missing in action, and presumed to be dead.’
    • ‘Cope was one of more than 8,000 Americans missing in action during the Korean War.’
    • ‘As the news of their son's bravery came in, his parents didn't seem surprised that he had been in the thick of the action on the outskirts of the city.’
    • ‘Casualties totaled 77,000 men, which included 8,000 killed in action, 48,000 wounded in action, and 21,000 as prisoners of war or missing in action.’
    • ‘He was wounded in action in Italy in November 1944.’
    • ‘Those killed in military action are represented as inflicting their own deaths.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, members of this camp believe that the onset of military action might give the market a lift.’
    • ‘In each case, only outside military action eventually ended Genocide.’
    • ‘Several yeomen are known to have volunteered for service at Waterloo, but no formed units saw action until the Second Boer War.’
    • ‘Military action, especially a Nato assault, must be the option of last resort.’
    • ‘Military action is but a single prong of a much larger and broader effort to halt the threat of terrorism.’
    • ‘His father, a gifted poet who worked in a bank, was killed in action in France in 1917.’
    fighting, hostilities, battle, conflict, armed conflict, combat, warfare, war, bloodshed
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    1. 4.1count noun A military engagement.
      ‘a rearguard action’
      • ‘In Africa there have been unilateral military actions by states to overthrow despotic governments in neighbouring states.’
      • ‘However, other soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines die in combat actions, too.’
      • ‘One was to engage in guerilla actions and wear the enemy down.’
      • ‘But recent weeks have seen a resurgence of armed actions by government opponents.’
      • ‘The combined arms battle called for concerted actions by infantry and artillery later joined by tanks and aviation.’
      • ‘Third, normally blockade takes the form of systematic naval military actions.’
      • ‘We had been fighting a rearguard action across France, and we were 30 miles outside Dunkirk when the evacuation began on May 26th.’
      • ‘For a long time the concept of combat was synonymous to the concept of military actions.’
      • ‘Some of our adversaries are not bound by the laws we value and which regulate U.S. military actions.’
      • ‘They sought to wear down the adversary through harassing actions and protracted conflict.’
      • ‘This meant that they were part-time warriors and that spoils of war played a major role in military actions.’
      • ‘Further, subsequent military actions may depend on the effectiveness of a non-lethal attack.’
      • ‘The doctrine of ‘preemptive’ war will remain in force, and will be used to justify further military actions.’
      • ‘Our purpose was to study this great battle to better inform military actions in the future.’
      • ‘Hawks hurriedly flew off to protect Paris but Paris was soon occupied and the Hawk pilots attempted to fight a rearguard action as they retreated from one base to another.’
      • ‘He could have engaged in military actions short of an outright invasion.’
      • ‘The murkiness and chaos that attend armed conflict mean military actions are hardly immune to mistake.’
      • ‘It was the beginning of decades of military actions until the wars of independence ended in 1825.’
      • ‘He also lists the numerous combat actions in which the United States became involved after the fall of the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘‘This is a disgrace to all those who have legitimately received injuries or died in the combat actions since the first day of the war,’ Robinson said.’
      fighting, hostilities, battle, conflict, armed conflict, combat, warfare, war, bloodshed
      View synonyms
  • 5Legal proceedings; a lawsuit.

    ‘a civil action for damages’
    • ‘Judicial Watch has filed 92 lawsuits and legal actions against government officials.’
    • ‘As with other questions in this chapter it also covers a number of the judicial actions in the Community legal order.’
    • ‘Would the law of New Zealand that takes away rights of common law actions for personal injuries and puts people on some kind of pension scheme apply?’
    • ‘The claimant brought an action for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.’
    • ‘It must be stressed that it is not for the court to assign a legal classification to the actions brought by the plaintiffs before the national court.’
    • ‘That case was not concerned with public law but was a civil action for damages.’
    • ‘The Claimant would lose his action against the primary tort feasor and must look to a claim against his solicitors.’
    • ‘If he fails to do so, he is held liable, whereas in an action for negligence the legal burden in most cases remains throughout on the plaintiff.’
    • ‘The litigation was an action in the District Court, your Honour, in a commercial matter.’
    • ‘The first chance event is whether the plaintiff decides to bring an action for common law damages.’
    • ‘The ability to make comparisons with damages awarded for non-pecuniary losses in personal injury actions would have a salutary effect on libel juries.’
    • ‘After his accident in the spring of 1988, Kenneth sued for damages in a civil action.’
    • ‘These costs can be recovered in a variety of ways: through fines, charges, or civil actions for damages.’
    • ‘There's also a limit on how long after a wrongful act a civil action can be commenced.’
    • ‘Academic commentators have discussed various possibilities for legal actions, both of a criminal and civil nature.’
    • ‘Here, the contractor was the plaintiff and the owners were the defendants in a lien action.’
    • ‘If a writ in a Queen's Bench action is not issued within the statutory time limit the action cannot proceed.’
    • ‘The plaintiffs commenced an action in private law for recovery of the money due.’
    • ‘He will remain as a defendant and the action will proceed against him and the other three defendants.’
    • ‘The company says it has a strong case and intends to fight the action.’
    lawsuit, legal action, suit, suit at law, case, cause, prosecution, litigation, legal dispute, legal contest
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verb

[with object]
  • Take action on; deal with.

    ‘your request will be actioned’
    • ‘If you had a standard monthly payment for the same amount each month, then your request could be actioned.’
    • ‘Both of these recommendations have been actioned.’
    • ‘We received separate complaints about flytipping in this area on Tuesday and Wednesday in this area and this will be actioned.’
    • ‘Hounslow is trying to ensure that all outstanding work is actioned during the run-up to the implementation of the new computer system.’
    • ‘However, initial thoughts are that a local merger could perhaps be actioned and would clearly simplify existing structures.’
    • ‘But, until the plan is actioned, there is still some Monday stretched out behind and ahead of me.’
    • ‘While some comments were just plain amusing, the more serious ones had been actioned where possible by the management, or a note had been put in explaining why the suggestion could not be acted on.’
    • ‘The issue was not one of releasability per se - more that each individual in the chain felt beholden to check the releasability of the information before actioning any requests.’
    • ‘That is why I actioned the share transfer of 6,250 shares.’
    • ‘Mr Molony noted that the recommendation last year by the Safety Review Group that research should be undertaken into helmets had been actioned.’
    • ‘I like papers that need actioning to be actioned and then filed.’
    • ‘The letter was actioned by the Milton Keynes Council and endorsed accordingly 8th April 2002.’
    • ‘I have made numerous calls to the so called Help Line and nothing is ever actioned.’
    • ‘However, for some reason, it was not allocated to a specific member of staff and he could not say why the instruction to update the records was not actioned.’
    • ‘Every test required was actioned quickly with results received within a short time. The first paramedic even called back to the hospital later to check all was well.’
    • ‘Those recommendations have now been actioned.’
    • ‘Anything that is pressed on the keyboard while it is in sleep mode, however, is finally actioned after the computer has detected it again.’
    • ‘It's not unusual for someone to arrive at the service with court documents that need to be actioned quite soon after the appointment.’
    • ‘The funding allows core programmes set up over the last 2 years to grow, and new initiatives to be actioned.’
    • ‘I have put in an application to pay child maintenance but they have not actioned that application.’
    deal with, attend to, see to, sort out, handle, take care of, action, organize, manage
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Phrases

    actions speak louder than words
    proverb
    • What someone actually does means more than what they say they will do.

      • ‘They say it is a family game but actions speak louder than words - it is about how much money they (the FA) can bring in.’
      • ‘I've said before that actions speak louder than words and I'm prepared for people to come back next year and ask me exactly what the department has achieved.’
      • ‘He said: ‘They are not making an explicit ethical statement, but actions speak louder than words.’’
      • ‘But actions speak louder than words, and that's why I'm offering Evening Press readers a chance to turn their lives around in a different way.’
      • ‘The oft-heard attempt at reassuring a doubting public may indeed have some substance, but actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘No one would argue with the case for better, higher quality designs for our city, but actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘But in every case actions speak louder than words and the law must be applied to the facts.’
      • ‘People who subscribe to this tradition treat everyone with the same dignity, and they also understand that actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘They deny it, but actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘This is a man for whom actions speak louder than words - over the past few years he has been stepping out in style, dancing around the world in the name of peace.’
      • ‘Ministers talk the language of empowerment, devolution, collaboration, and support, but their actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘What I've always told my kids, and Allison can confirm this, is actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘Much as actions speak louder than words, thinking about something is better than not being empathetic enough to think at all.’
      • ‘But actions speak louder than words and previous competitiveness white papers have yielded few tangible results.’
      • ‘Well, actions speak louder than words and our sources says she's offered a lot less.’
      • ‘Her choice was predictable and did not need further elaboration - actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘I still maintain the view that actions speak louder than words so we'll wait and see how it pans out.’
      • ‘At this summit, I've seen a lot of people come with reactions but not actions - and actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘Michael… says a lot of things, but personally, I find actions speak louder than words.’
      • ‘But for a public that expects clean air, clean water, and a healthy future for its children, the administration's actions speak louder than words.’
    action at a distance
    Physics
    historical
    • The exertion of force by one body on another separated from the first by empty space.

      • ‘Of the quantum entanglement phenomena that Einstein described as ‘spooky action at a distance,’ quantum holography may be the spookiest to date.’
      • ‘In short, the quantum description of the fundamental forces is designed to do away with action at a distance.’
      • ‘Our universe didn't have to be this way: it could have been action at a distance, instantaneous transformer of information, etc.’
      • ‘These fundamental papers put forward the case for action at a distance between electrical charges in a similar way as Newton's theory of gravitation was based on action at a distance between masses.’
      • ‘The Continental scientists certainly did not accept the idea of action at a distance and continued to believe in Descartes' vortex theory where forces work through contact.’
    in action
    • In operation; working.

      ‘watching him in action, normal workers are left in awe’
      • ‘So it was a relief to finally see him back in action again last night and he happily reported no after effects.’
      • ‘No games were played during the summer, when the county teams were in action.’
      • ‘Perhaps the single most important factor, however, is seeing it in action first.’
      • ‘Yet it is another horse who was in action at Aintree last week who threatens to take centre stage on Saturday.’
      • ‘Parliament has voted and we all know that when parliament votes that is democracy in action isn't it?’
      • ‘I explained to the people who didn't like me that this was democracy in action.’
      • ‘Robert Sangster brought him over to Europe to give us all a chance to have a look at him in action.’
      • ‘Both he and Grant were in action in a sprint relay race where the British B-team beat the A squad.’
      • ‘Teachers from Italy and Finland have been in town all week to see Grange Junior School in action.’
      • ‘Cheesy some of it may be, but there's a genuine thrill to be had from seeing this pampered pop icon in action.’
      • ‘A lot of our own senior players could do with going to watch this young man in action.’
      • ‘A visitor centre was also added to the design, to provide a vantage point to view the wheel in action.’
      • ‘I wasn't even allowed to take a closer look, let alone photograph the machine in action.’
      • ‘Wartime Britain was supposed to be the epitome of socialist planning in action.’
      • ‘Seeing the dancers and musicians in action there last weekend was a revelation.’
      • ‘David has another five weeks to get through and then he expects to be back in action.’
      • ‘I can remember as a child going to the old town park hoping to find one of the swings in action.’
      • ‘An upset stomach stopped him from training on Tuesday and Wednesday but he is back in action now.’
      • ‘To bring a case to court, an officer would have had to have witnessed vandals in action, he said.’
      • ‘It's pretty hard to say who starts as favourite as we have not seen Team New Zealand in action yet.’
    go into action
    • Start work or activity.

      ‘skin divers were close at hand, ready to go into action if the stunt went wrong’
      • ‘We talked for a while then moved into the living room and I went into action.’
      • ‘Elliot went into action after local radio station Z - 99 announced the contest, which awarded a pair of seats to the show to the collector of the most grasshoppers in two days.’
      • ‘What they're all referring to is the fact one American serviceman made a complaint in January this year, and the Pentagon's investigative machinery went into action.’
      • ‘Armed police went into action in the town centre on Saturday night after a youth was spotted with a gun in New Road.’
      • ‘The eight-strong police team went into action at 10 am and five people were arrested at the scene on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply and were later released on bail.’
      • ‘As a curious crowd gathered at the entrance to Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, a team of riggers, steelworkers and Japanese art world figures went into action.’
      • ‘Grandad Danny, 39, went into action after daughter-in-law Charlotte went into labour in the early hours of Monday morning at his home in Boreham.’
      • ‘There is a lot of people that dislike the federal government, but, he just went into action beyond anyone's wildest nightmares.’
      • ‘Teresa went into action, amassing all the information she could, while Terence telephoned specialists all over the world for advice.’
      • ‘Emergency services were on standby throughout the night on Friday and went into action at dawn on Saturday to evacuate six properties at Mill Lane, Tempsford.’
      • ‘Irene and Dave went into action to bring the public in.’
      • ‘As the home captain lay unconscious on the ground and the official was flat out on the touchline, spectators went into action.’
      • ‘Workers in an adjoining room were ordered to leave while the firefighters went into action.’
      • ‘The emergency services have a plan in place to deal with such accidents, and that has gone into action today.’
      • ‘It's the second time the hotel's taskforce has gone into action in response to the growing disquiet over the city's increasingly grotty appearance.’
      • ‘By the time a helicopter lifts off, a team of experts has already gone into action - both in the air and on the ground.’
      • ‘‘We all knew as the meeting was going on that British forces were going into action,’ the Prime Minister's spokesman explained.’
      • ‘They rob parked cars and have studied the habits of their targets before going into action.’
      • ‘As we eat, a nearby market closes up and the local street-sweeping team goes into action as though they are finishing up for the Glasgow Fair.’
      • ‘The corporation stands ready to go into action and assist residents, if that becomes necessary,’ he promised.’
    out of action
    • Temporarily unable to work or function.

      ‘a heart attack put him out of action’
      • ‘Malt attacked from the restart and, with Cooke temporarily out of action, Will Barber booted a penalty.’
      • ‘Traffic lights were temporarily out of action, although there were no reports of accidents.’
      • ‘Her problems were made worse by the fact that the lift was temporarily out of action.’
      • ‘The 31-year-old is currently out of action with a broken arm but will be back in a month's time.’
      • ‘He signed for them at the start of the season but has been out of action since sustaining a broken leg in a pre-season friendly.’
      • ‘The centre also paid for engineering work on the ship's main generator which was out of action.’
      • ‘She estimates the shop will be out of action for several weeks while repairs are carried out and replacement stock is ordered.’
      • ‘It put one of the runways out of action for 15 minutes, disrupting incoming and departing flights.’
      • ‘Anyway, with my arm more or less out of action, and the pain, lack of sleep, etc, I've not been to work yet this week.’
      • ‘CAN I apologise for the fact that my e-mail has been out of action for the past few weeks due to a technical hitch.’
      • ‘They managed to release the lift, but it has since been out of action.’
      • ‘He was out of action for a year and was eventually forced to retire.’
      • ‘Pastor Roe said that the toilets had been out of action since February.’
      • ‘He lives on the top floor and said one lift has been out of action for more than eight weeks, and the other takes users to the wrong floor.’
      • ‘He was out of action for six months, although the initial diagnosis was for much longer, and on crutches for two.’
      • ‘A subsequent operation kept him out of action for four months and even he came back too soon.’
      • ‘And why was a security camera monitoring the prison yard mysteriously out of action?’
      • ‘Gashes and knocks that would put a professional footballer out of action for weeks tend to be shrugged off.’
      • ‘The electricity failure kept the phones and most of the lighting out of action for more than three hours.’
      • ‘Questions have to be asked, including why the CCTV cameras on the ward were out of action.’
    take action
    • Do something official or concerted to achieve an aim or deal with a problem.

      ‘if there is a breach of regulations, we will take action’
      ‘he vowed to take tougher action against persistent offenders’
      • ‘Campaigners hope evidence of eight grave "miscarriages of justice" will persuade the Justice Secretary to take action.’
      • ‘The activists are asking concerned citizens across the country to join the actions in New Orleans or to take action at home.’
      • ‘With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action.’
      • ‘They wanted to orchestrate their myriad efforts to force the legislature to take action where the lawsuits could not.’
      • ‘Why some officials say the Department of Homeland Security needs to take action immediately.’
      • ‘The conciliator need not do much to have taken action, according to the House of Lords.’
      • ‘Environment Agency chiefs say they will not be taking action against a controversial landfill site, despite calls for its immediate closedown.’
      • ‘He is then expected to take action to eliminate the hazards identified.’
      • ‘The world's central banks took action injecting $180 billion into the financial system to stem the losses.’
      • ‘The Senate taking action today to help struggling homeowners.’
    man of action
    • A man whose life is characterized by physical activity or deeds rather than by words or intellectual matters.

      • ‘A most affable man, his ready smile is always to the fore but underneath all that charm is a man of action who speaks by deeds as well as words.’
      • ‘He has proved himself to be a man of action not just words.’
      • ‘His comedy timing is impeccable and he was equally at home as a man of action or a driven intellectual of thoughts, dreams and desires.’
      • ‘The 51-year-old entrepreneur is a man of action, not words.’
      • ‘Unlike France, Britain has preferred men of action, pragmatists, doers rather than thinkers.’
      • ‘Although a man of action and a skilled administrator rather than an intellectual, he enjoyed the company of scholars and converted to Protestantism.’
      • ‘So when we speak of intellectuals or men of action, it is important to bear in mind that such distinctions are matters of degree, of mere tendencies, not absolutes.’
      • ‘Forgive me, fellow Parisians, I am a man of action not words.’
      • ‘He is a liberation theologist, a man of action who gets on with it rather than talking about it.’
      • ‘Groomed by his father Nicholas I to head the navy, he had developed into a perceptive intellectual who at the same time was a man of action.’
      • ‘Both were men of action who found themselves in the right place at the right time because, in 1910, Mexico was a country which could have been created specifically for revolutionary change.’
      • ‘She loved her father, she wrote, ‘when he's a revolutionary… a man of ideas, a man of action, a man who sticks steadfastly to his views and won't trade them for anything in the world’.’
      • ‘He's a spiritual man, but he's a man of action, too.’
      • ‘Lawrence's roles as man of action, poet, neurotic, and leader of men fascinated friends and biographers and the public for years.’
      • ‘Peck's craggy good looks, grace and measured speech contributed to his screen image as the decent, courageous man of action.’
      • ‘Superman, the man of Steel, is a man of action, a man who although he is not American fights the great American fight.’
      • ‘Lame from birth, he spent his life attempting to become a man of action.’
      • ‘That earned him opprobrium in the council chamber but on the streets cemented his reputation as a man of action.’
      • ‘He emerges with the most credit as a man of action, honour and compassion.’
      • ‘The Romans, on the other hand, were doers, they were men of action.’
    put into action
    • Put into effect; carry out.

      ‘ideas need to be put into action’
      • ‘Richards said an up-do-date traffic survey needs to be carried out before any plans are put into action.’
      • ‘The effective dissolution of the group, which has been observing a ceasefire since 1996, may be announced in a few weeks, though it could take six months to put into action.’
      • ‘‘We're alarmed that what was threatened was put into action,’ Mr Dale said.’
      • ‘Sadie can come to a company and organise a ‘brainstorming meetings’ where ideas are discussed, up dated and put into action.’
      • ‘It is about love and compassion put into action - not oppression.’
      • ‘Pratyabhijna says with emphasis that knowledge put into action or practice is really meaningful.’
      • ‘A major new coast protection plan for Clacton has been drawn up, after two years of research, and will cost £34 million to put into action.’
      • ‘Problem solving tactics were put into action (all a bit much at 7.43 am).’
      • ‘After two years of successful human and cattle trials on the heart-rate monitor, it is now being developed by a firm who say that it could be put into action as early as next year.’
      • ‘However there were a few changes and improvements suggested for the various stalls and these will be put into action at the next sale’
      • ‘And what does a report like that put into action, in terms of an investigation?’
      • ‘The County Emergency Service Plan was put into action as fire brigades and ambulance crews arrived at the scene’
      • ‘The recovery plan to be put into action by the new team addresses issues raised in a damning Corporate Governance Inspection report last summer.’
      • ‘As I mentioned in Friday's blog entry, Plan B was put into action.’
      • ‘We're a long way from seeing these cuts put into action, but I'm cautiously optimistic.’
      • ‘Five Government reports have been drawn up into epilepsy since 1953 but campaigners claim none has been put into action.’
      • ‘A bid to get a repair operation under way was put into action.’
      • ‘I hope this ID card idea will be put into action in the near future.’
      • ‘The speed restrictions will be put into action throughout the village centre after no objections were received to the order.’
    a piece (or slice) of the action
    informal
    • 1A share in an exciting or profitable enterprise.

      ‘they'd underwrite the cost of the drilling in return for a piece of the action’
      1. 1.1US A share in the profits accruing from something.

Origin

Late Middle English via Old French from Latin actio(n-), from agere ‘do, act’.

Pronunciation

action

/ˈakʃ(ə)n/