: the most vigorous, productive, or exciting activity in a particular field, area, or group
wants to be where the action is
—used as a director's command to start filming part of a movie or television show
Lights, camera, action!
: spin or rotation given to a ball or puck by throwing or hitting it in a particular way
If I am hitting into the wind on the 7th at Pebble Beach, … rather than taking an eight or a nine [iron] and hitting it hard, I'll choose a little eight or even a seven and almost chip the ball, putting as little action on it as possible so it lands softly and doesn't do a lot of spinning.—Jack Nicklaus
He was critical of the government's actions before the war.
a military action against another country
She tried to explain her actions.
I accept full responsibility for my actions.
The situation demanded immediate action.
The problem may require military action.
The school took disciplinary action against the drunken students.
They decided that no further action was necessary. See More
Recent Examples on the WebBut the trooper’s actions were lauded Saturday by Formella.—Joe Kottke, NBC News, 18 Nov. 2023 Director Mary Zimmerman places the river action between high, curving walls of greenery, like vegetal versions of sculptures by Richard Serra.—Vulture, 17 Nov. 2023 The rapid action taken by our law enforcement underscores our commitment to public safety.—Greg Wehner, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2023 That is, leading an action and science fiction story that is about what happens to girls.—WIRED, 17 Nov. 2023 Editor’s picks Judge Coffee argued his actions were warranted because Johnson, who raps under the name Straight Drop, used a jail phone to release a rap song on YouTube in November 2022.—Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 The result is that even if the great powers avoid war with one another, their actions can foment war elsewhere.—Paul Poast, The Atlantic, 17 Nov. 2023 The investigations are the Biden administration’s latest action to press colleges into action.—Collin Binkley, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023 Several members of Congress denounced the protesters' actions.—Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'action.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English accioun, borrowed from Anglo-French accion, borrowed from Latin āctiōn-, āctiō "activity, act, legal process," from agere "to drive (cattle), cause to move, do" + -tiōn-, -tiō, noun suffix of verbal action — more at agent