noun Etymology: Middle English accioun, from Anglo-French accion, from Latin action-, actio, from agere to do — more at agent Date: 14th century 1. the initiating of a proceeding in a court of justice by which one demands or enforces one's right; also the proceeding itself 2. the bringing about of an alteration by force or through a natural agency 3. the manner or method of performing: a. an actor's or speaker's deportment or expression by means of attitude, voice, and gesture b. the style of movement of the feet and legs (as of a horse) c. a function of the body or one of its parts 4. an act of will 5. a. a thing done ; deed b. the accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition c. plural behavior, conduct <
unscrupulous actions
d. initiative, enterprise <
a man of action
6. a. (1) an engagement between troops or ships (2) combat in war <
gallantry in action
b. (1) an event or series of events forming a literary composition (2) the unfolding of the events of a drama or work of fiction ; plot (3) the movement of incidents in a plot c. the combination of circumstances that constitute the subject matter of a painting or sculpture 7. a. an operating mechanism b. the manner in which a mechanism or instrument operates 8. a. the price movement and trading volume of a commodity, security, or market b. the process of betting including the offering and acceptance of a bet and determination of a winner c. financial gain or an opportunity for financial gain <
a piece of the action
9. sexual activity 10. the most vigorous, productive, or exciting activity in a particular field, area, or group <
they itch to go where the action is — D. J. Henahan

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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