noun movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.
2. action ·noun a right of action; as, the law gives an action for every claim.
3. action ·noun effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech action of a gun.
4. action ·noun an act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (·pl): habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor.
5. action ·noun the attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
6. action ·noun an engagement between troops in war, whether on land or water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial action.
7. action ·noun a share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds; hence, in the plural, equivalent to stocks.
8. action ·noun any one of the active processes going on in an organism; the performance of a function; as, the action of the heart, the muscles, or the gastric juice.
9. action ·noun gesticulation; the external deportment of the speaker, or the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures, and countenance, to the subject, or to the feelings.
10. action ·noun the mechanical contrivance by means of which the impulse of the player's finger is transmitted to the strings of a pianoforte or to the valve of an organ pipe.
11. action ·noun the event or connected series of events, either real or imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.
12. action ·noun a suit or process, by which a demand is made of a right in a court of justice; in a broad sense, a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense.
13. action ·noun a process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force, as when one body acts on another; the effect of power exerted on one body by another; agency; activity; operation; as, the action of heat; a man of action.