Meaning of ACTION in English

ACTION

I. ac ‧ tion 1 S1 W1 /ˈækʃ ə n/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ act , ↑ action ≠ ↑ inaction , ↑ activity ≠ ↑ inactivity , ↑ reaction , ↑ interaction , ↑ overacting ; adjective : ↑ acting , ↑ active ≠ ↑ inactive ; verb : ↑ act ≠ ↑ overact ; adverb : ↑ actively ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin actio , from agere ; ⇨ ↑ ACT 1 ]

1 . DOING SOMETHING [uncountable] the process of doing something, especially in order to achieve a particular thing:

The government must take action (=do something) now to stop the rise in violent crime.

action on

Environmental groups want tougher action on pollution from cars.

She was looking forward to putting her ideas into action (=doing the things she had planned) .

Ambulance crews are ready to spring into action (=suddenly start doing something) if anything goes wrong during the race.

2 . SOMETHING DONE [countable] something that someone does

quick/swift/prompt action

Her prompt actions probably saved my life.

The child could not be held responsible for his actions (=he was too young to be blamed for them) .

defend/justify your action(s)

The chief of police tried to justify his actions.

3 . in action someone or something that is in action is doing the job or activity they are trained or designed to do:

photos of ski jumpers in action

see/watch something/somebody in action

I’d like to see the new computer system in action.

4 . out of action

a) broken and not working:

The photocopier is out of action again.

b) injured and unable to do anything

put/keep somebody out of action

The injury will keep him out of action for a month.

5 . FIGHTING [uncountable] fighting during a war:

There have been reports of widespread enemy action in the area.

killed/wounded in action (=killed or wounded while fighting)

His father was killed in action in Vietnam.

530 servicemen were reported missing in action (=they were never seen again after a battle) .

The men were sent into action with little or no training.

He had seen action (=been involved in fighting) in Korea.

6 . LEGAL [uncountable and countable] a legal or formal process to decide whether someone has done something wrong:

They are threatening to take legal action against the hospital (=start a court case against them) .

The director faces disciplinary action (=official action to punish him) .

The matter is now the subject of a court action (=a court case) .

The students agreed to drop their action (=decided not to continue with a court case or an official complaint) .

The sisters brought a libel action against the newspaper (=started a court case) .

7 . EXCITEMENT [uncountable]

a) informal exciting things that are happening:

There hasn’t been much action around here for months.

New York is where all the action is.

b) an action film has a lot of exciting scenes in it, in which people fight, chase, and kill each other:

Gibson became famous in action movies.

a TV action hero

8 . THE EVENTS IN A STORY/FILM ETC the action the events in a story, film, play etc:

Most of the action takes place in San Francisco.

The action opens (=starts) in a barbershop.

9 . MOVEMENT [uncountable and countable] the way something moves or works

action of

the action of the heart

a smooth braking action

10 . EFFECT [uncountable] the effect that a substance, especially a chemical, has on something

action of

The drug blocks the action of the cancer gene.

action on/upon

the action of alcohol on the liver

11 . action group/committee etc a group formed to change a social or political situation – often used in names:

the Child Poverty Action Group

12 . a piece/slice of the action informal an opportunity to be involved in an event or activity, especially one that will be enjoyable or will make money:

If you want a slice of the action, tickets may still be available.

13 . actions speak louder than words used to say that you are judged by what you do, and not by what you say

14 . action! used by film ↑ director s to give the instruction to begin filming:

Lights, camera, action!

⇨ ↑ affirmative action

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ verbs

▪ take action (=do something to deal with a problem)

The government must take action to control inflation.

▪ demand/call for action (=ask forcefully)

Voters are demanding tougher action on gun crime.

▪ swing/spring/leap into action (=suddenly start doing something)

The fire crew immediately swung into action.

▪ put something into action (=start doing something you have planned to do)

She was looking forward to putting her plans into action.

|

The committee uses the expertise of local organisations to put these ideas into action.

■ adjectives

▪ immediate/prompt/swift action

The public wants immediate action to stop the terrorists.

▪ urgent action (=that needs to be done immediately)

The Opposition called for urgent action to reduce unemployment.

▪ firm/tough action

We need firm action to deal with the problem.

▪ decisive action (=that has a big effect on the way something develops)

We are urging the international community to take decisive action on debt relief.

▪ drastic action (=that has a very severe effect)

The President decided to take drastic action.

▪ further action

No further action is necessary.

▪ direct action (=that is aimed at making a government or company do something)

In a bid to stop whale hunting, Greenpeace have threatened direct action.

▪ political action

Some forms of political action are more effective than others.

▪ industrial/strike action (=that workers take in order to protest about pay, working conditions etc)

The miners voted in favour of industrial action.

▪ joint action (=that two or more countries, organizations etc take together)

Community leaders agreed to take joint action on scientific, social and environmental issues.

■ phrases

▪ a course of action

Have you decided on a course of action?

▪ a plan of action

The General outlined his plan of action for the campaign.

|

Environmental groups have put forward an action plan.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 5)

■ phrases

▪ be killed/wounded in action (=killed or wounded while fighting)

Four of her sons have been killed in action.

▪ be missing in action (=used to say that a soldier has not returned after a battle and their body has not been found)

A further 9,000 allied military personnel are still officially listed as missing in action.

■ verbs

▪ see action (=be involved in fighting)

By the time he was 20 he’d seen action in the Gulf War and Bosnia.

▪ go into action

American soldiers are going into action against the Mujahadin.

▪ be sent into action

He declared that French soldiers will not be sent into action in Iraq.

■ adjectives

▪ military action

America is not ruling out military action against Iran.

▪ enemy action

The ship was damaged by enemy action.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 6)

■ adjectives

▪ legal action

The singer threatened legal action against the magazine.

▪ court action

The couple are still considering whether to take court action.

▪ a libel action (=taken against someone who has writen or printed untrue statements about you)

Judge Johan Kreigler dismissed a libel action brought against two newspapers.

▪ a civil action (=involving business or property, rather than a crime)

The victim can seek damages in a civil action.

■ verbs

▪ take legal action

He is within his rights to take legal action.

▪ face legal action

The council demanded that we remove the posters, or face legal action.

▪ bring a legal action

Justice Mayor ruled that she cannot bring a legal action for damages against the plaintiff.

• • •

THESAURUS (for Meaning 2)

▪ action noun [countable] something that someone does:

He is responsible for his own actions.

|

They refused to give a reason for their actions.

▪ act noun [countable] a particular type of action:

violent acts

| act of violence/kindness/defiance etc :

I believe the killing was an act of desperation.

▪ activities noun [plural] things that people do, especially for enjoyment or to achieve an aim:

leisure activities

|

political activities

|

Surveys may not give a true picture of people’s activities.

▪ behaviour British English , behavior American English noun [uncountable] the things that someone does and the way they behave:

Do you think that advertisements really influence people’s behaviour?

|

The man’s behaviour seemed rather odd.

▪ move noun [countable] something that you do in order to achieve something:

Her decision to sell the shares had been a smart move.

|

It’s a bold move to start a business in the current economic climate.

|

He needed time to figure out his next move.

▪ step noun [countable] one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeed:

The first step is to make sure we have got funding for the project.

|

We must take steps to make sure that this does not happen again.

|

This is an important step towards peace.

▪ measure noun [countable] an official action that is intended to deal with a particular problem:

There are increased security measures at airports.

|

The school was closed as a precautionary measure following a chemical leak.

▪ gesture noun [countable] something that you do to show how you feel about someone or something:

Do you think it would be a nice gesture to send her some flowers?

| gesture of goodwill/solidarity/defiance :

The company gave us £100 as a gesture of goodwill.

▪ deed noun [countable] especially literary an action, especially one that is very good or very bad:

evil deeds

|

heroic deeds

|

This is my good deed for the day.

▪ exploits noun [plural] formal exciting or brave actions:

daring exploits

|

His exploits were legendary.

▪ feat noun [countable] something someone does that people admire because you need a lot of skill, courage, or strength to do it:

Completing a marathon is a remarkable feat for a six-year-old.

|

The bridge is a great feat of engineering.

II. action 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive] formal

to do a specific thing that needs to be done, especially after discussing it:

How are we actually going to action these objectives?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.