Last modified on 8 July 2014, at 21:31

action

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English accion, from Old French action, from Latin āctiō (act of doing or making), from āctus, perfect passive participle of agō (do, act), + action suffix -iō; see act.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

action (plural actions)

  1. Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
  2. A way of motion or functioning.
    Knead bread with a rocking action.
  3. A fast-paced activity.
    an action movie
  4. A mechanism; a moving part or assembly.
    a rifle action
  5. (music): The mechanism, that is the set of moving mechanical parts, of a keyboard instrument, like a piano, which transfers the motion of the key to the sound-making device.[1]
  6. (slang) sexual intercourse.
    She gave him some action.
  7. The distance separating the strings and the fretboard on the guitar.
  8. (military) Combat.
    He saw some action in the Korean War.
  9. (law) A charge or other process in a law court (also called lawsuit and actio).
  10. (mathematics) A homomorphism from a group to a group of automorphisms.
    One of the earliest uses of groups, according to lore, was the study of the action of S_3 on the equilateral triangle.
  11. 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. (art, painting and sculpture) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
  13. (business, obsolete, a Gallicism) A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds.
    • Burke
      The Euripus of funds and actions.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

InterjectionEdit

action

  1. Demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance.
    The director yelled ‘Action!’ before the camera started rolling.

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

action (third-person singular simple present actions, present participle actioning, simple past and past participle actioned)

  1. (transitive, management) To act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect.
    • 2004, Ros Jay, Richard Templar, “Fast thinking: project”, in Fast Thinking Manager's Manual[1], edition Second edition, Pearson Education, ISBN 9780273681052, Fast Thinking Leader, page 276:
      ‘Here, give me the minutes of Monday’s meeting. I’ll action your points for you while you get on and sort out the open day.’
    • 2005, Fritz Liebreich, “The physical confrontation: interception and diversion policies in theory and practice”, in Britain's Navel and Political Reaction to the Illegal Immigration of Jews to Palestine, 1945-1948[2], Routledge, ISBN 9780714656373, page 196:
      Violent reactions from the Jewish authorities were expected and difficulties of actioning the new guidelines were foreseen.
    • 2007, Great Britain: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, “Case study: 11257”, in Tax Credits: Getting it wrong? 5th report session 2006-2007[3], The Stationery Office, ISBN 9780102951172, Chapter 2: Changes and developments since June 2005, page 26:
      HMRC said that one reason they had not actioned her appeal was because she had said in her appeal form ‘I am appealing against the overpayment for childcare for 2003-04, 2004-05’, thus implying she was disputing her ‘overpayment’.
  2. (transitive, chiefly archaic) To initiate a legal action against someone.
    • 1856, Thomas Chandler Haliburton, The Attaché: or Sam Slick in England[4], edition New Revised Edition, Stringer & Townsend, Chapter XLVII: The Horse Stealer; or All Trades Have Tricks But Our Own, page 270:
      ‘I have no business to settle with you—arrest me, Sir, at your peril and I’ll action you in law for false imprisonment.’
    • 1844, Robert Mackenzie Daniel, The Grave Digger: A novel by the author of The Scottish Heiress[5], volume I, T. C. Newby, Chapter IX: How the Grave-differ entertained a lady, page 189-190:
      “Scrip threatened me at first with an action for slander—he spoke of actions to the wrong man though—action! no, no no. I should have actioned him—ha! ha! [...]”
    • 1871, Michael Shermer quoting Alfred Russell Wallace, In Darwin’s shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russell Wallace[6], Oxford University Press US, ISBN 9780195148305, published 2002, Chapter 10. Heretic Personality, page 261:
      I have actioned him for Libel, but he won’t plead, and says he will make himself bankrupt & won’t pay a penny.
    • 1996, Darryl Mark Ogier, “Discipline: Enforcement”, in Reformation and Society in Guernsey[7], Boydell & Brewer, ISBN 9780851156033, Part Two: The Calvinist Regime, page 148:
      In 1589 the Court went so far as to effect a reconciliation between Michel le Petevin and his wife after she actioned him for ill treatment and adultery with their chambermaid.

Usage notesEdit

  • The verb sense to action is rejected by some usage authorities.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  • OED 2nd edition 1989
  • Notes:
  1. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation Growing Up with Science p.1079
  2. ^ “She Literally Exploded : The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook”, Christopher Howse and Richard Preston (Constable‧London, 2007; ISBN 978‒1‒84529‒675‒9), page 3

External linksEdit

AnagramsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Old French acciun, aucion, etymologically reconstructed in Middle French to resemble the Latin actiō.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

action f (plural actions)

  1. action, act
  2. campaign
    une action promotionnelle
    a promotional campaign
  3. stock, share
    une action de capitalisation
    a capitalisation share
  4. (Switzerland) a special offer

AnagramsEdit

External linksEdit


Middle FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Old French acciun, aucion, etymologically reconstructed to resemble the Latin actiō.

NounEdit

action f (plural actions)

  1. action; act