direct action


Definition of direct action

: action that seeks to achieve an end directly and by the most immediately effective means (such as a boycott or strike)

Examples of direct action in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Through direct action, mutual aid shows others there’s another way of co-existing. Kandist Mallett,, 17 June 2021 Black and White members worked alongside each other on strategy and direct action tactics, while also collaborating with fellow civil rights groups and countless freedom fighters. Donna Owens, Essence, 19 Oct. 2021 Calls for more tangible direct action, such as large-scale direct investments into inner city communities or reparations for slavery, were ignored in favor of job training programs and small-scale hiring pushes at individual companies. Victor Luckerson, Wired, 5 Oct. 2021 She was arrested at a direct action two weeks later. Audrey Gray, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2021 That means protests, rallies and organized direct action by working people. Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 Sisters Uncut is an abolitionist direct action group protesting cuts to domestic violence services. Sisters Uncut,, 1 Oct. 2021 What kind of direct action have IATSE workers taken beyond striking? Emma Specter, Vogue, 28 Sep. 2021 Before the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro in 1960, there were Murray and peers from Howard University leading a direct action to forcefully desegregate the Little Palace Cafeteria in 1943. Sarah-tai Black, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of direct action

1912, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for direct action

Time Traveler

The first known use of direct action was in 1912

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Dictionary Entries Near direct action


direct action

direct bearing

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Statistics for direct action

Last Updated

6 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Direct action.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for direct action

direct action


Legal Definition of direct action

1 : an action in which the plaintiff sues a person's insurer without first obtaining a judgment against the insured or joining the insured
2 : a suit by a shareholder for an injury to himself or herself independent from any injury to the corporation

called also individual action

— compare derivative action

More from Merriam-Webster on direct action Encyclopedia article about direct action


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