A process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to
rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force, as when one
body acts on another; the effect of power exerted on one body by
another; agency; activity; operation; as, the action of heat; a man of
An act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (pl.):
Habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor.
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.
Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.
Effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech action of
Any one of the active processes going on in an organism;
the performance of a function; as, the action of the heart, the
muscles, or the gastric juice.
Gesticulation; the external deportment of the speaker, or
the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures, and countenance, to the
subject, or to the feelings.
The attitude or position of the several parts of the body
as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
A suit or process, by which a demand is made of a right in
a court of justice; in a broad sense, a judicial proceeding for the
enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a
wrong, or the punishment of a public offense.
A right of action; as, the law gives an action for every
A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or
in the public funds; hence, in the plural, equivalent to stocks.
An engagement between troops in war, whether on land or
water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial action.
The mechanical contrivance by means of which the impulse of
the player's finger is transmitted to the strings of a pianoforte or to
the valve of an organ pipe.