English dictionary

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English noun: action

1. action (act) something done (usually as opposed to something said)

SamplesThere were stories of murders and other unnatural actions.

Broader (hypernym)act, deed, human action, human activity

Narrower (hyponym)accenting, accentuation, accomplishment, achievement, aggression, alienation, application, arrival, beatification, benignity, bruxism, carrying into action, carrying out, change, choice, civility, consultation, course, course of action, destabilisation, destabilization, economy, emphasizing, employment, engagement, execution, fetch, forbiddance, hostility, inhibition, interaction, jump-start, jumpstart, kindness, opposition, option, performance, pick, pickings, play, playing, politeness, prohibition, reference, res gestae, resistance, reverence, saving, selection, stupefaction, swordplay, taking, thing, transfusion, transgression, vampirism

2. action (state) the state of being active

SamplesHis sphere of activity.
He is out of action.

Synonymsactiveness, activity

Broader (hypernym)state

Narrower (hyponym)agency, behavior, behaviour, busyness, eructation, eruption, extravasation, hum, operation, overdrive, play, swing


Antonymsinaction, inactiveness, inactivity

3. action (act) a military engagement

SamplesHe saw action in Korea.

Synonymsmilitary action

Broader (hypernym)group action

Narrower (hyponym)amphibious landing, battle, blockade, conflict, defence, defense, defensive measure, electronic warfare, encirclement, engagement, EW, fight, police action, resistance, saber rattling, sabre rattling, sally, sortie, war, warfare

Domain categoryarmed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine

4. action (process) a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)

SamplesThe action of natural forces.
Volcanic activity.

Synonymsactivity, natural action, natural process

Broader (hypernym)physical process, process

Narrower (hyponym)absorption, acidification, adiabatic process, aeration, antiredeposition, capture, capture, cataphoresis, centrifugation, chemical action, chemical change, chemical process, chromatography, clotting, coagulation, concretion, condensation, convection, curdling, curing, decay, demagnetisation, demagnetization, desorption, dielectrolysis, diffusion, disintegration, dissolution, distillation, distillment, drift, ecesis, ecological succession, effervescence, electrophoresis, establishment, extinction, extraction, feedback, filtration, flocculation, flow, formation, fossilisation, fossilization, geologic process, geological process, hardening, inactivation, ion exchange, ionisation, ionization, ionophoresis, leach, leaching, magnetic induction, magnetisation, magnetization, materialisation, materialization, natural selection, nuclear reaction, opacification, oscillation, oxygenation, pair creation, pair formation, pair production, phase change, phase transition, physical change, precession of the equinoxes, radiation, release, rigidification, rigidifying, saltation, scattering, selection, sericulture, set, sink, soak, soakage, soaking, softening, solidification, solidifying, sorption, source, state change, stiffening, stimulation, succession, survival, survival of the fittest, synergism, synergy, temperature change, transduction, transpiration, vitrification

5. action (communication) the series of events that form a plot

SamplesHis novels always have a lot of action.

Broader (hypernym)plot

6. action (attribute) the trait of being active and energetic and forceful

SamplesA man of action.

Broader (hypernym)drive

7. action (artifact) the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism

SamplesThe piano had a very stiff action.

Synonymsaction mechanism

Broader (hypernym)mechanism

Narrower (hyponym)firing mechanism, gunlock, movement, piano action, pump action, slide action

Part holonymkey

Part meronymgun, keyboard

8. action (act) a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong

Synonymsaction at law, legal action

Broader (hypernym)legal proceeding, proceeding, proceedings

Narrower (hyponym)antitrust case, civil action, counterclaim, criminal prosecution, custody case, lis pendens, prosecution, test case, test suit

Domain categoryjurisprudence, law

9. action (act) an act by a government body or supranational organization

SamplesRecent federal action undermined the segregationist position.
The United Nations must have the power to propose and organize action without being hobbled by irrelevant issues.
The Union action of emancipating Southern slaves.

Broader (hypernym)group action

10. action (act) the most important or interesting work or activity in a specific area or field

SamplesThe action is no longer in technology stocks but in municipal bonds.
Gawkers always try to get as close to the action as possible.

Broader (hypernym)work

English verb: action

1. action (social) institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against

SamplesHe was warned that the district attorney would process him.
She actioned the company for discrimination.

Synonymslitigate, process, sue

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)challenge

Narrower (hyponym)expedite

Verb grouplitigate

2. action (creation) put in effect

SamplesCarry out a task.
Execute the decision of the people.
He actioned the operation.

Synonymsaccomplish, carry out, carry through, execute, fulfil, fulfill

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)complete, effect, effectuate, finish, set up

Narrower (hyponym)complete, consummate, consummate, discharge, dispatch, do, get over, perform, run

Verb groupcarry out, follow out, follow through, follow up, go through, implement, put through

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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