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English definition of “action”

action

noun uk   /ˈæk.ʃən/ us  

action noun (DOING SOMETHING)

B2 [U] the process of doing something, especially when dealing with a problem or difficulty: This problem calls for swift/prompt action from the government. [+ to infinitive] Action to prevent the spread of the disease is high on the government's agenda. We must take action (= do something) to deal with the problem before it spreads to other areas. So what's the plan of action? (= What are we going to do?) The complaints system swings into action (= starts to work) as soon as a claim is made. The committee was spurred into action (= encouraged to do something) by the threat of government cuts.Acting and actsDealing with things or people

action noun (SOMETHING DONE)

B2 [C] something that you do: She has to accept the consequences of her actions. I asked him to explain his actions.Acting and actsDealing with things or people C2 [C] a physical movement: I'll say the words and you can mime the actions. It only needs a small wrist action (= movement of the wrist) to start the process.Acting and actsDealing with things or people

action noun (ACTIVITY)

B1 [U] things that are happening, especially exciting or important things: I like films with a lot of action. In her last novel, the action (= the main events) moves between Greece and southern Spain.Events and occurrencesAccidents and disasters where the action is at the place where something important or interesting is happening: A journalist has to be where the action is.Places and locationsUnpleasant places

action noun (EFFECT)

[S] the effect something has on another thing: They recorded the action of the drug on the nervous system.Outcomes and consequences

action noun (WAR)

C2 [U] fighting in a war: Her younger son was killed in action. He was reported missing in action. He saw action (= fought as a soldier) in the trenches.Fighting

action noun (WAY THING WORKS)

C2 [U or C] the way something moves or works: We studied the action of the digestive system. The car has a very smooth braking action.FunctioningPerforming a function

action noun (LEGAL PROCESS)

C1 [C or U] specialized law a legal process that is decided in a law court: a libel action She brought an action (for negligence) against the hospital. A criminal action was brought against him. The book was halted in South Africa by a threat of legal action.Court cases, orders and decisions

action

verb [T usually passive] uk   /ˈæk.ʃən/ us  
to do something to deal with a particular problem or matter: I'll just run through the minutes of the last meeting, raising those points that still have to be actioned.Dealing with things or peopleActing and actsCoping and not copingTolerating and enduring
(Definition of action from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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