action Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “action” in the English Dictionary

"action" in British English

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uk   us   /ˈæk.ʃən/

action noun (DOING SOMETHING)

B2 [U] the ​process of doing something, ​especially when ​dealing with a ​problem or ​difficulty: This ​problemcalls for swift/​prompt action from the ​government. [+ to infinitive] Action toprevent 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 ​complaintssystem 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 ​governmentcuts.
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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.C2 [C] a ​physicalmovement: I'll say the words and you can ​mime the actions. It only ​needs a ​smallwrist action (= ​movement of the ​wrist) to ​start the ​process.
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action noun (ACTIVITY)

B1 [U] things that are ​happening, ​especiallyexciting or ​important things: I like ​movies with a lot of action. In her last ​novel, the action (= the ​mainevents)moves between Greece and ​southern Spain.where the action is at the ​place where something ​important or ​interesting is ​happening: A ​journalist has to be where the action is.
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action noun (EFFECT)

[S] the ​effect something has on another thing: They ​recorded the action of the ​drug on the ​nervoussystem.
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action noun (WAR)

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

action noun (WAY THING WORKS)

C2 [U or C] the way something ​moves or ​works: We ​studied the action of the ​digestivesystem. The ​car has a very ​smoothbraking action.

action noun (LEGAL PROCESS)

C1 [C or U] specialized law a ​legalprocess that is ​decided in a ​lawcourt: a ​libel action She brought an action (fornegligence) against the ​hospital. A criminal action was brought against him. The ​book was ​halted in ​SouthAfrica by a ​threat of legal action.

actionverb [T usually passive]

uk   us   /ˈæk.ʃən/
to do something to ​deal with a ​particularproblem or ​matter: I'll just ​run through the ​minutes of the last ​meeting, ​raising those ​points that still have to be actioned.
(Definition of action from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"action" in American English

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actionnoun [C/U]

 us   /ˈæk·ʃən/

action noun [C/U] (SOMETHING DONE)

the ​process of doing something, or something done, esp. for a ​particularpurpose: [U] Quick action in ​calling the ​firedepartmentsaved many ​lives. [C] It was a ​reckless action which he ​later came to ​regret. [+ to infinitive] We ​want a ​leader who will take action to ​fixourproblems. [U] Financial advisers ​urged the ​city to take action (= do something) to ​deal with the ​fiscalcrisis. Action is also ​fighting in a ​war: [U] Her ​youngerson was ​killed in action. In an action ​film/​movie, there is usually a lot of ​violence and many ​exciting things ​happen.

action noun [C/U] (MOVEMENT)

the way something moves or ​works, or the ​effect it has on something ​else: [C] The heart’s action in ​regulatingbloodflow is ​criticallyimportant.

action noun [C/U] (LEGAL PROCESS)

law a ​process in a ​court of ​law to ​correct a ​wrong by which a ​person or ​groupclaims to have been ​hurt: [C] She ​brought an action against the ​hospital for ​negligence.
(Definition of action from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"action" in Business English

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uk   us   /ˈækʃən/
[U] the ​process of doing something, especially in ​order to ​deal with a problem or difficult ​situation: take action (to do sth) The ​report urged ​industrialisednations to take further action to ​cut their ​budgetdeficits.action on sth Campaigners say more action is needed on ​ for action Unions are ​pressing for action on the ​paydispute. decisive/​drastic/​prompt action The ​committee was spurred into action by the threat of ​governmentcuts. You need to clearly ​outline a ​specific course of action in your ​businessplan.
[C] something that you do, especially in ​order to ​deal with a problem or difficult ​situation: Industry ​analysts said the company's actions cannot ​controlmarketprices. He said that ​employees must be ​heldaccountable for their actions.
[U] STOCK MARKET, FINANCE important things that are ​happening in a ​market, etc.: Fund ​managerslet themselves be ​carried away by the favorable market action of the ​shares.
[C or U] LAW a ​legalprocess that is decided in a ​court of ​law: civil/court/legal action He threatened ​legal action to ​recover the ​property.bring an action against sb/sth The ​purchaser could have ​brought an action against the ​vendor under ​section 12 of the Sale of Goods ​Act.
put sth into action to begin ​working to make an ​idea or a ​planhappen or be ​successful: We need to put these ​plans into action in ​measurable ways, so that ​employeesregain a sense of ​control over their ​lives.
an action plan/a plan of action a way of ​dealing with a problem or difficult ​situation, or ​achieving something: The Board will ​devise an action ​plan to ​address the problems at the ​plant.
a piece/slice of the action informal involvement in something ​successful that someone else has ​started: It's one thing to be a ​staffattorney and quite another to be an ​equitypartner getting a ​piece of the action.

actionverb [T, usually passive]

uk   us   /ˈækʃən/
to do something to ​deal with a particular ​task, problem, or ​plan: Some of the ​conclusions and ​recommendations of the ​report can be actioned ​straight away.
(Definition of action from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“action” in Business English

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