activity

noun

ac·​tiv·​i·​ty ak-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce activity (audio)
plural activities
1
: the quality or state of being active : behavior or actions of a particular kind
physical activity
criminal activity
economic activity
2
: vigorous or energetic action : liveliness
a scene of excitement and activity
3
: natural or normal function: such as
a
: a process (such as digestion) that an organism carries on or participates in by virtue of being alive
b
: a similar process actually or potentially involving mental function
specifically : an educational procedure designed to stimulate learning by firsthand experience
4
: an active force
5
a
: a pursuit in which a person is active
business activities
social activities
b
: a form of organized, supervised, often extracurricular recreation
The camp offers hiking, swimming, and other activities.
6
: an organizational unit for performing a specific function
also : its function or duties
the restaurant inspection activity of the health department

Example Sentences

The holidays always set off a lot of activity in our home. the sexual activity of married couples The police are now monitoring criminal activity in the area. She gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. The instruments are used to detect volcanic activity on the island. We planned an activity for the children. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Researchers have linked the increase in polar bear attacks to diminishing sea ice and more bears on shore, as well as to growing human activity in the Arctic, York said. Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Jan. 2023 Manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region softened again in January. Fox News, 19 Jan. 2023 Eve after hearing reports of suspicious activity in the rental community, the arrest affidavit said. Amanda Rabines, Orlando Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2023 With the help of brain imaging technologies like electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain, neuroscientists have discovered that human brains synchronize with one another when people cooperate on a task. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2023 All of these strikes involved thunderstorm activity in the vicinity, and the tower was struck several times by bolts that weren't associated with the laser's path. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 16 Jan. 2023 That is leaving the company scrambling for a way to keep showing ads targeted based on its Facebook and Instagram users’ online activity in the bloc. Sam Schechner, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2023 And Japan is increasingly anxious over greater maritime activity by the Chinese military in the East China Sea and around the Senkaku Islands, which is disputed territory between the two governments. Edward Wong, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Jan. 2023 Three public schools in Bristol were placed into a secure school protocol due to police activity in the area at the time, according to Deputy Superintendent Michael Dietter in a message to parents. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'activity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English actyvete "active life," borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French activité "power of acting, exercise of this power," borrowed from Medieval Latin āctīvitāt-, āctīvitās (Late Latin, "active form of a verb"), from Latin āctīvus active entry 1 + -itāt-, -itās -ity

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of activity was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near activity

Cite this Entry

“Activity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/activity. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

activity

noun
ac·​tiv·​i·​ty ak-ˈtiv-ət-ē How to pronounce activity (audio)
plural activities
1
: the quality or state of being active
2
: forceful or energetic action
3
: a natural, normal, or assigned function: as
a
: a process that an organism carries on or participates in by virtue of being alive
b
: a similar process that involves or is capable of involving mental function
4
: an educational exercise designed to teach by firsthand experience
5
: an active force
solar activity
6
a
: something done especially for relaxation or fun
b
: a form of organized recreation

Medical Definition

activity

noun
ac·​tiv·​i·​ty ak-ˈtiv-ət-ē How to pronounce activity (audio)
plural activities
1
: natural or normal function: as
a
: a process (as digestion) that an organism carries on or participates in by virtue of being alive
b
: a similar process actually or potentially involving mental function
specifically : an educational procedure designed to stimulate learning by firsthand experience
2
: the characteristic of acting chemically or of promoting a chemical reaction
the activity of a catalyst

More from Merriam-Webster on activity

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