An action is a thing that is done, and not merely thought or spoken about. Possible actions could range from blinking to invading a country.

Action comes from agere, the Latin verb meaning "to do." Legal action is the initiation of a lawsuit to demand your rights. In war, a soldier working in the kitchen is on cooking duty, while the soldier on the frontline sees a lot of action. Action movies are so called because they are full of fast-paced sequences. If you are sitting on your couch, mulling over your lack of exercise, maybe it's time to take action.

Definitions of action
  1. noun
    something done (usually as opposed to something said)
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    an action
    benignity, kindness
    a kind act
    accomplishment, achievement
    the action of accomplishing something
    the action of alienating; the action of causing to become unfriendly
    the action of putting something into operation
    res gestae
    things done
    course, course of action
    a mode of action
    a mutual or reciprocal action; interacting
    the action of fetching
    the action of taking part in a game or sport or other recreation
    play, swordplay
    the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
    the act of arriving at a certain place
    carrying into action, carrying out, execution, performance
    the act of performing; of doing something successfully; using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it
    choice, option, pick, selection
    the act of choosing or selecting
    the action of changing something
    economy, saving
    an act of economizing; reduction in cost
    forbiddance, inhibition, prohibition
    the action of prohibiting or inhibiting or forbidding (or an instance thereof)
    opposition, resistance
    the action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with
    involuntarily or unconsciously clenching or grinding the teeth, typically during sleep
    the action of pouring a liquid from one vessel to another
    pickings, taking
    the act of someone who picks up or takes something
    the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit
    aggression, hostility
    violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked
    destabilisation, destabilization
    the action of destabilizing; making something less stable (especially of a government or country or economy)
    employment, engagement
    the act of giving someone a job
    civility, politeness
    the act of showing regard for others
    an act showing respect (especially a bow or curtsy)
    consultation, reference
    the act of referring or consulting
    accenting, accentuation, emphasizing
    the act of giving special importance or significance to something
    the action of rendering supremely blessed and extremely happy
    jump-start, jumpstart
    starting an automobile engine that has a weak battery by means of jumper cables to another car
    the action of stupefying; making dull or lethargic
    the actions or practices of a vampire
    beachhead, foothold
    an initial accomplishment that opens the way for further developments
    an easy accomplishment
    effort, exploit, feat
    a notable achievement
    an outstanding achievement
    an achievement demonstrating great skill or mastery
    used in the phrase `to your credit' in order to indicate an achievement deserving praise
    blind alley
    (figurative) a course of action that is unproductive and offers no hope of improvement
    collision course
    a course of action (following a given idea) that will lead to conflict if it continues unabated
    reciprocal action and reaction
    close interaction
    give-and-take, interchange, reciprocation
    mutual interaction; the activity of reciprocating or exchanging (especially information)
    the playing of a game of tenpins or duckpins etc
    any recognized accomplishment
    record, track record
    the sum of recognized accomplishments
    accomplished fact, fait accompli
    an irreversible accomplishment
    going, sledding
    advancing toward a goal
    arrival, reaching
    accomplishment of an objective
    entering, entrance, entry, incoming, ingress
    the act of entering
    entail, entailment
    the act of entailing property; the creation of a fee tail from a fee simple
    the act of appearing in public view
    homecoming, return
    a coming to or returning home
    the act of anchoring
    dockage, docking, moorage, tying up
    the act of securing an arriving vessel with ropes
    the act of coming to land after a voyage
    the act of coming down to the earth (or other surface)
    close call, close shave, narrow escape, squeak, squeaker
    something achieved (or escaped) by a narrow margin
    the act of achieving an aim
    freeing, liberation, release
    the act of liberating someone or something
    specific performance
    the performance of a legal contract as specified by its terms
    linguistic performance
    (linguistics) a speaker's actual use of language in real situations; what the speaker actually says, including grammatical errors and other non-linguistic features such as hesitations and other disfluencies (contrasted with linguistic competence)
    mechanics, mechanism
    the technical aspects of doing something
    (baseball) playing the position of catcher on a baseball team
    playing golf
    (baseball) playing the position of pitcher on a baseball team
    base on balls, pass, walk
    (baseball) an advance to first base by a batter who receives four balls
    the act of reporting your presence (as at an airport or a hotel)
    the choice of actors to play particular roles in a play or movie
    coloration, colouration
    choice and use of colors (as by an artist)
    (statistics) the selection of a suitable sample for study
    conclusion, decision, determination
    the act of making up your mind about something
    volition, willing
    the act of making a choice
    about-face, policy change, reversal, volte-face
    a major change in attitude or principle or point of view
    the act of adulterating (especially the illicit substitution of one substance for another)
    move, relocation
    the act of changing your residence or place of business
    a change to a lower gear in a car or bicycle
    a change from a financially rewarding but stressful career to a less well paid but more fulfilling one
    the act of selecting someone or something; the exercise of deliberate choice
    ballot, balloting, vote, voting
    a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative
    the act of changing a fluid by passing it through a filter
    reduction, simplification
    the act of reducing complexity
    curtailment, downsizing, retrenchment
    the reduction of expenditures in order to become financially stable
    economy of scale
    the saving in cost of production that is due to mass production
    decimalisation, decimalization
    the act of changing to a decimal system
    metrication, metrification
    the act of changing from imperial units of measurement to metric units: meters, grams, seconds
    the act of changing or altering something slightly but noticeably from the norm or standard
    act of changing in practice or custom
    diversification, variegation
    the act of introducing variety (especially in investments or in the variety of goods and services offered)
    constant change
    shift, switch, switching
    the act of changing one thing or position for another
    commutation, exchange, substitution
    the act of putting one thing or person in the place of another: "he sent Smith in for Jones but the substitution came too late to help"
    the act of raising in rank or position
    act of lowering in rank or position
    change of state
    the act of changing something into something different in essential characteristics
    adjustment, alteration, modification
    the act of making something different (as e.g. the size of a garment)
    a management action resisting employee's demands; employees are barred from entering the workplace until they agree to terms
    doing something in opposition to another way of doing it that you don't like
    motion, move, movement
    the act of changing location from one place to another
    the act of changing the location of something
    motility, motion, move, movement
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
    change of direction, reorientation
    the act of changing the direction in which something is oriented
    change of magnitude
    the act of changing the amount or size of something
    change of integrity
    the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something
    the act of changing from one use or function or purpose to another
    the act of changing something to bring it up to date (usually by adding something)
    change of shape
    an action that changes the shape of something
    path, way, way of life
    a course of conduct
    the performance of a religious or ceremonial or public duty
    taking full advantage of an opportunity while it lasts
    anti-takeover defense
    resistance to or defense against a hostile takeover
    the act of gently pouring off a clear liquor (as from its original bottle) without disturbing the lees
    meat grinder
    any action resulting in injury or destruction
    force, violence
    an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists)
    pillage, pillaging, plundering
    the act of stealing valuable things from a place
    act of fulfilling a desire or need or appetite
    nationalisation, nationalization
    the action of rendering national in character
    communisation, communization
    a change from private property to public property owned by the community
    secularisation, secularization
    the activity of changing something (art or education or society or morality etc.) so it is no longer under the control or influence of religion
    the act of changing the institution that invests your pension plan without incurring a tax penalty
    the art or sport of fighting with swords (especially the use of foils or epees or sabres to score points under a set of rules)
    a way of hiring longshoremen by the day; applicants gather around a union boss who selects those to be hired
    the recall of an employee after a layoff
    booking, reservation
    the act of reserving (a place or passage) or engaging the services of (a person or group)
    benefaction, benevolence
    an act intending or showing kindness and good will
    cupboard love
    a show of affection motivated by selfishness
    favor, favour
    an act of gracious kindness
    forgiveness, pardon
    the act of excusing a mistake or offense
    the act of showing affection
    a courteous or respectful or considerate act
    deference, respect
    a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard
    formal expression of respect
    consideration, thoughtfulness
    a considerate and thoughtful act
    face saver, face saving
    an act that avoids a loss of face (of dignity or prestige)
    enlisting, recruitment
    the act of getting recruits; enlisting people for the army (or for a job or a cause etc.)
    the act of smoothing
    bow, bowing, obeisance
    the act of bending the head, body, or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
    curtsey, curtsy
    bending the knees; a gesture of respect made by women
    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
  2. noun
    the state of being active
    “he is out of action
    synonyms: activeness, activity
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    inaction, inactiveness, inactivity
    the state of being inactive
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    the state of being in action or exerting power
    busyness, hum
    the state of being or appearing to be actively engaged in an activity
    behavior, behaviour
    the action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances
    eructation, eruption, extravasation
    (of volcanos) pouring out fumes or lava (or a deposit so formed)
    the state of being in effect or being operative
    the state of high or excessive activity or productivity or concentration
    a state in which action is feasible
    a state of steady vigorous action that is characteristic of an activity
    an agency that escapes control and destroys its creator
    the state of being in good working order and ready for operation
    the state of being in operation
    the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling
    type of:
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  3. noun
    the trait of being active and energetic and forceful
    “a man of action
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    type of:
    the trait of being highly motivated
  4. noun
    a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)
    “the action of natural forces”
    synonyms: activity, natural action, natural process
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    the spread of a group of organisms into new habitats
    (physics) the process in which incident radiated energy is retained without reflection or transmission on passing through a medium
    the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid
    adiabatic process
    (thermodynamics) any process that occurs without gain or loss of heat
    the process of exposing to air (so as to purify)
    the process of preventing redeposition
    any process in which an atomic or nuclear system acquires an additional particle
    a process whereby a star or planet holds an object in its gravitational field
    the process of separating substances of different densities by the use of a centrifuge
    chemical action, chemical change, chemical process
    (chemistry) any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved
    a process used for separating mixtures by virtue of differences in absorbency
    the formation of stonelike objects within a body organ (e.g., the kidneys)
    the process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid or solid state
    (meteorology) the vertical movement of heat or other properties by massive motion within the atmosphere
    clotting, coagulation, curdling
    the process of forming semisolid lumps in a liquid
    the process of gradually becoming inferior
    demagnetisation, demagnetization
    the process of removing magnetization
    changing from an adsorbed state on a surface to a gaseous or liquid state
    (physics) the process in which there is movement of a substance from an area of high concentration of that substance to an area of lower concentration
    disintegration, dissolution
    separation into component parts
    distillation, distillment
    the process of purifying a liquid by boiling it and condensing its vapors
    the gradual departure from an intended course due to external influences (as a ship or plane)
    the process of bubbling as gas escapes
    cataphoresis, dielectrolysis, electrophoresis, ionophoresis
    the motion of charged particles in a colloid under the influence of an electric field; particles with a positive charge go to the cathode and negative to the anode
    ecesis, establishment
    (ecology) the process by which a plant or animal becomes established in a new habitat
    the reduction of the intensity of radiation as a consequence of absorption and radiation
    the process of obtaining something from a mixture or compound by chemical or physical or mechanical means
    the process in which part of the output of a system is returned to its input in order to regulate its further output
    the process whereby fluids pass through a filter or a filtering medium
    the process of flocculating; forming woolly cloudlike aggregations
    any uninterrupted stream or discharge
    natural process that causes something to form
    fossilisation, fossilization
    the process of fossilizing a plant or animal that existed in some earlier age; the process of being turned to stone
    geologic process, geological process
    (geology) a natural process whereby geological features are modified
    curing, hardening, set, solidification, solidifying
    the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling or drying or crystallization
    the process of rendering inactive
    ion exchange
    a process in which ions are exchanged between a solution and an insoluble (usually resinous) solid; widely used in industrial processing
    ionisation, ionization
    the process of ionizing; the formation of ions by separating atoms or molecules or radicals or by adding or subtracting electrons from atoms by strong electric fields in a gas
    leach, leaching
    the process of leaching
    magnetic induction, magnetisation, magnetization
    the process that makes a substance magnetic (temporarily or permanently)
    materialisation, materialization
    the process of coming into being; becoming reality
    nuclear reaction
    (physics) a process that alters the energy or structure or composition of atomic nuclei
    the process of becoming cloudy or opaque
    the process of oscillating between states
    the process of providing or combining or treating with oxygen
    pair creation, pair formation, pair production
    the transformation of a gamma-ray photon into an electron and a positron when the photon passes close to an atomic nucleus
    phase change, phase transition, physical change, state change
    a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition
    precession of the equinoxes
    a slow westward shift of the equinoxes along the plane of the ecliptic caused by precession of the Earth's axis of rotation
    a process that liberates or discharges something
    (geology) the leaping movement of sand or soil particles as they are transported in a fluid medium over an uneven surface
    the physical process in which particles are deflected haphazardly as a result of collisions
    raising silkworms in order to obtain raw silk
    (technology) a process that acts to absorb or remove energy or a substance from a system
    soak, soakage, soaking
    the process of becoming softened and saturated as a consequence of being immersed in water (or other liquid)
    the process of becoming softer
    the process in which one substance takes up or holds another (by either absorption or adsorption)
    (technology) a process by which energy or a substance enters a system
    rigidification, rigidifying, stiffening
    the process of becoming stiff or rigid
    (physiology) the effect of a stimulus (on nerves or organs etc.)
    ecological succession, succession
    (ecology) the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established
    natural selection, selection, survival, survival of the fittest
    a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
    synergism, synergy
    the working together of two things (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects
    temperature change
    a process whereby the degree of hotness of a body (or medium) changes
    the process whereby a transducer accepts energy in one form and gives back related energy in a different form
    the passage of gases through fine tubes because of differences in pressure or temperature
    the process of becoming vitreous
    heat sink
    a metal conductor specially designed to conduct (and radiate) heat
    adaptive radiation
    the development of many different forms from an originally homogeneous group of organisms as they fill different ecological niches
    airstream, backwash, race, slipstream, wash
    the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller
    turbulent flow
    flow in which the velocity at any point varies erratically
    streamline flow
    flow of a gas or liquid in which the velocity at any point is relatively steady
    absorption, soaking up
    (chemistry) a process in which one substance permeates another; a fluid permeates or is dissolved by a liquid or solid
    stimulation of activity in an organism or chemical
    the process of introducing an acyl group into a compound
    adsorption, surface assimilation
    the accumulation of molecules of a gas to form a thin film on the surface of a solid
    (meteorology) the horizontal transfer of heat or other atmospheric properties
    agglutinating activity, agglutination
    the coalescing of small particles that are suspended in solution; these larger masses are then (usually) precipitated
    gradual formation of new land, by recession of the sea or deposit of sediment
    conversion of starch to sugar
    (chemistry) any process of combination (especially in solution) that depends on relatively weak chemical bonding
    blood clotting, blood coagulation
    a process in which liquid blood is changed into a semisolid mass (a blood clot)
    blueing, bluing
    a process that makes something blue (or bluish)
    a process that impregnates something with calcium (or calcium salts)
    catalysis, contact action
    acceleration of a chemical reaction induced the presence of material that is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction
    caries, cavity, dental caries, tooth decay
    soft decayed area in a tooth; progressive decay can lead to the death of a tooth
    chain reaction
    a self-sustaining nuclear reaction; a series of nuclear fissions in which neutrons released by splitting one atom leads to the splitting of others
    the process of forming a ring by forming one or more hydrogen bonds
    chemical reaction, reaction
    (chemistry) a process in which one or more substances are changed into others
    the addition or substitution of chlorine in organic compounds
    the breaking of a chemical bond in a molecule resulting in smaller molecules
    climate change, global climate change
    a change in the world's climate
    column chromatography
    chromatography that uses selective adsorption by a column of powders
    congealment, congelation
    the process of congealing; solidification by (or as if by) freezing
    the transfer of heat through a fluid (liquid or gas) caused by molecular motion
    chilling, cooling, temperature reduction
    the process of becoming cooler; a falling temperature
    corroding, corrosion, erosion
    erosion by chemical action
    decay of matter (as by rot or oxidation)
    the process whereby heavy molecules of naphtha or petroleum are broken down into hydrocarbons of lower molecular weight (especially in the oil-refining process)
    deamination, deaminization
    removal of the amino radical from an amino acid or other amino compound
    loss of calcium from bones or teeth
    the process of removing a carboxyl group from a chemical compound (usually replacing it with hydrogen)
    decay, disintegration, radioactive decay
    the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
    (pharmacology) the extraction of water-soluble drug substances by boiling
    decomposition, putrefaction, rot, rotting
    (biology) the process of decay caused by bacterial or fungal action
    the process of making a (steel) ship's hull nonmagnetic by producing an opposing magnetic field
    dehydration, desiccation, drying up, evaporation
    the process of extracting moisture
    the removal of iodine atoms from organic compounds
    demineralisation, demineralization
    the removal of minerals and mineral salts from a liquid (especially from water)
    desalination, desalinisation, desalinization
    the removal of salt (especially from sea water)
    the gradual transformation of habitable land into desert; is usually caused by climate change or by destructive use of the land
    the process of deformation that produces continents and ocean basins in the earth's crust
    the process of decomposing organic matter (as in sewage) by bacteria or by chemical action or heat
    dilapidation, ruin
    the process of becoming dilapidated
    (chemistry) the temporary or reversible process in which a molecule or ion is broken down into smaller molecules or ions
    the process of extracting one material from another by washing with a solvent to remove adsorbed material from an adsorbent (as in washing of loaded ion-exchange resins to remove captured ions); used to obtain uranium ions
    the release of electrons from parent atoms
    endoergic reaction
    a nuclear reaction occurring with absorption of energy
    eating away, eroding, erosion, wearing, wearing away
    (geology) the mechanical process of wearing or grinding something down (as by particles washing over it)
    exoergic reaction
    a nuclear reaction accompanied by the evolution of energy
    a normal ongoing process that dissolves fibrin and results in the removal of small blood clots
    flow into something (as a container)
    fission, nuclear fission
    a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
    gradual internal motion or deformation of a solid body (as by heat)
    fold, folding
    a geological process that causes a bend in a stratum of rock
    freeze, freezing
    the withdrawal of heat to change something from a liquid to a solid
    fusion, nuclear fusion, nuclear fusion reaction
    a nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
    galvanisation, galvanization
    stimulation with a galvanic current
    the process of changing into gas
    the process of interacting with gas
    the process of covering the earth with glaciers or masses of ice
    heating, warming
    the process of becoming warmer; a rising temperature
    a chemical process that adds hydrogen atoms to an unsaturated oil
    electrophoresis to separate antigens and antibodies
    encrustation, incrustation
    the formation of a crust
    inflow, influx
    the process of flowing in
    the process of extracting certain active properties (as a drug from a plant) by steeping or soaking (usually in water)
    the forcing of molten rock into fissures or between strata of an earlier rock formation
    intumescence, intumescency, swelling
    the increase in volume of certain substances when they are heated (often accompanied by release of water)
    a chemical process in which the direction of optical rotation of a substance is reversed from dextrorotatory to levorotary or vice versa
    the substitution or addition of iodine atoms in organic compounds
    (of a ship or plane) sideways drift
    (astronomy) a real or apparent slow oscillation of a moon or satellite
    the conversion of a solid or a gas into a liquid
    (biochemistry) dissolution or destruction of cells such as blood cells or bacteria
    softening due to soaking or steeping
    chemical mechanism, mechanism
    the atomic process that occurs during a chemical reaction
    change in the structure of rock by natural agencies such as pressure or heat or introduction of new chemical substances
    the transduction of sound waves into electrical waves (by a microphone)
    beneficiation, mineral dressing, mineral extraction, mineral processing, ore dressing, ore processing
    crushing and separating ore into valuable substances or waste by any of a variety of techniques
    negative feedback
    feedback in opposite phase with (decreasing) the input
    the chemical process in which a nitro group is added to an organic compound (or substituted for another group in an organic compound)
    the process of mountain formation (especially by the upward displacement of the earth's crust)
    (biology, chemistry) diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a place of higher concentration to a place of lower concentration until the concentration on both sides is equal
    effluence, efflux, outflow
    the process of flowing out
    paper chromatography
    chromatography that uses selective adsorption on a strip of paper
    carrier electrophoresis, paper electrophoresis
    electrophoresis carried out on filter paper
    peptisation, peptization
    the process of converting to a sol; bringing to a colloidal solution
    infiltration, percolation
    the slow passage of a liquid through a filtering medium
    permeation, pervasion, suffusion
    the process of permeating or infusing something with a substance
    petrifaction, petrification
    the process of turning some plant material into stone by infiltration with water carrying mineral particles without changing the original shape
    synthesis of compounds with the aid of radiant energy (especially in plants)
    polymerisation, polymerization
    a chemical process that combines several monomers to form a polymer or polymeric compound
    positive feedback, regeneration
    feedback in phase with (augmenting) the input
    (medicine) the synergistic effect of two drugs given simultaneously
    the process of forming a chemical precipitate
    the hydrolysis of proteins into peptides and amino acids by cleavage of their peptide bonds
    pyrochemical process, pyrochemistry
    processes for chemical reactions at high temperatures
    (photography) the formation of a network of cracks or wrinkles in a photographic emulsion
    rigor mortis
    muscular stiffening that begins 2 to 4 hours after death and lasts for about 4 days
    the action of forming a chelate or other stable compound with an ion or atom or molecule so that it is no longer available for reactions
    the source of something's existence or from which it derives or is derived
    (physics) a nuclear reaction in which a bombarded nucleus breaks up into many particles
    spoilage, spoiling
    the process of becoming spoiled
    forming or depositing in layers
    a geological process in which one edge of a crustal plate is forced sideways and downward into the mantle below another plate
    synaeresis, syneresis
    the separation of liquid from a gel that is caused by contraction (as in cheese making)
    the process of producing a chemical compound (usually by the union of simpler chemical compounds)
    melt, melting, thaw, thawing
    the process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid
    congealing tissue by heat (as by electric current)
    the process of transfering an amino group from one compound to another
    the process of transposing an amino group within a chemical compound
    an exchange of molecules (and their kinetic energy and momentum) across the boundary between adjacent layers of a fluid or across cell membranes
    centrifugation at very high speeds
    evaporation, vapor, vaporisation, vaporization, vapour
    the process of becoming a vapor
    ferment, fermentation, fermenting, zymolysis, zymosis
    a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol
    a method of extracting natural gas or oil from rock by injecting liquid at high pressure
    type of:
    physical process, process
    a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
  5. noun
    the most important or interesting work or activity in a specific area or field
    “the action is no longer in technology stocks but in municipal bonds”
    “gawkers always try to get as close to the action as possible”
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    type of:
    activity directed toward making or doing something
  6. noun
    a military engagement
    “he saw action in Korea”
    synonyms: military action
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    amphibious landing
    a military action of coordinated land, sea, and air forces organized for an invasion
    battle, conflict, engagement, fight
    a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war
    blockade, encirclement
    a war measure that isolates some area of importance to the enemy
    defence, defense, defensive measure
    (military) military action or resources protecting a country against potential enemies
    EW, electronic warfare
    military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy to determine or exploit or reduce or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum
    police action
    a local military action without declaration of war; against violators of international peace and order
    the military action of resisting the enemy's advance
    saber rattling, sabre rattling
    the ostentatious display of military power (with the implied threat that it might be used)
    sally, sortie
    a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position
    war, warfare
    the waging of armed conflict against an enemy
    a formation of military planes maintained over ground operations or targets
    limited war
    a war whose objective is less than the unconditional defeat of the enemy
    psychological warfare, war of nerves
    the use of psychological tactics to destroy the opponents' morale
    any catastrophically destructive battle
    pitched battle
    a fierce battle fought in close combat between troops in predetermined positions at a chosen time and place
    naval battle
    a pitched battle between naval fleets
    air defense
    defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy aircraft or missiles or to nullify their effectiveness
    a defensive effort
    hasty defence, hasty defense
    a defense organized while in contact with the enemy or when time is limited
    deliberate defence, deliberate defense
    a defense organized before contact is made with the enemy and while time for organization is available; usually includes a fortified zone (with pillboxes) and communication systems
    biodefence, biodefense, biological defence, biological defense
    procedures involved in taking defensive measures against attacks using biological agents
    chemical defence, chemical defense
    procedures involved in taking defensive measures against attacks using chemical agents
    minelaying, mining
    laying explosive mines in concealed places to destroy enemy personnel and equipment
    civil war
    a war between factions in the same country
    armed combat, combat
    an engagement fought between two military forces
    chemical operations, chemical warfare
    warfare using chemical agents to kill or injure or incapacitate the enemy
    BW, bioattack, biologic attack, biological attack, biological warfare
    the use of bacteria or viruses or toxins to destroy men and animals or food
    BW defence, BW defense, biological warfare defence, biological warfare defense
    defense against biological warfare
    an aerial engagement between fighter planes
    close fighting during the culmination of a military attack
    ECM, electronic countermeasures
    electronic warfare undertaken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum
    ECCM, electronic counter-countermeasures
    electronic warfare undertaken to insure effective friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum in spite of the enemy's use of electronic warfare
    ESM, electronic warfare-support measures
    electronic warfare undertaken under direct control of an operational commander to locate sources of radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition
    electromagnetic intrusion
    the deliberate insertion of electromagnetic energy into transmission paths with the objective of confusing or deceiving operators
    IW, information warfare
    the use of information or information technology during a time of crisis or conflict to achieve or promote specific objectives over a specific adversary or adversaries
    international jihad, jehad, jihad
    a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels
    world war
    a war in which the major nations of the world are involved
    naval blockade
    the interdiction of a nation's lines of communication at sea by the use of naval power
    beleaguering, besieging, military blockade, siege
    the action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place and isolates it while continuing to attack
    hot war
    actual fighting between the warring parties
    total war
    military conflict with no restrictions on targets, weapons, or use of military or civilian resources
    type of:
    group action
    action taken by a group of people
  7. verb
    put in effect
    “He actioned the operation”
    synonyms: accomplish, carry out, carry through, execute, fulfil, fulfill
    carry out, follow out, follow through, follow up, go through, implement, put through
    pursue to a conclusion or bring to a successful issue
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    get over
    to bring (a necessary but unpleasant task) to an end
    carry out
    make perfect; bring to perfection
    fulfill sexually
    do, perform
    get (something) done
    complete, discharge, dispatch
    complete or carry out
    perform better or achieve a greater degree of success than expected
    accomplish by rotating
    underachieve, underperform
    perform less well or with less success than expected
    do wrongly or improperly
    do one's best, give full measure, give one's best, go all out
    perform a task as well as possible
    apply oneself diligently
    type of:
    complete, finish
    come or bring to a finish or an end
    effect, effectuate, set up
  8. noun
    an act by a government body or supranational organization
    “recent federal action undermined the segregationist position”
    “the United Nations must have the power to propose and organize action without being hobbled by irrelevant issues”
    “the Union action of emancipating Southern slaves”
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    type of:
    group action
    action taken by a group of people
  9. noun
    a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong
    synonyms: action at law, legal action
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    antitrust case
    a legal action brought against parties who are charged with limiting free competition in the market place
    civil action
    legal action to protect a private civil right or to compel a civil remedy (as distinguished from criminal prosecution)
    a claim filed in opposition to another claim in a legal action
    custody case
    a legal action to determine custody (usually of children following a divorce)
    lis pendens
    a pending lawsuit
    criminal prosecution, prosecution
    the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior
    test case, test suit
    a representative legal action whose outcome is likely to become a precedent
    double jeopardy
    the prosecution of a defendant for a criminal offense for which he has already been tried; prohibited in the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution
    type of:
    legal proceeding, proceeding, proceedings
    (law) the institution of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked
  10. verb
    institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against
    “She actioned the company for discrimination”
    synonyms: litigate, process, sue
    engage in legal proceedings
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    process fast and efficiently
    type of:
    issue a challenge to
  11. noun
    the series of events that form a plot
    “his novels always have a lot of action
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    rising action
    a series of plot events that build up toward the climax of a narrative
    falling action
    the series of plot events following the climax of a narrative
    type of:
    the story that is told as in a novel, play, movie, etc.
  12. noun
    the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism
    “the piano had a very stiff action
    synonyms: action mechanism
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    firing mechanism, gunlock
    the action that ignites the charge in a firearm
    the driving and regulating parts of a mechanism (as of a watch or clock)
    piano action
    action consisting of a system of levers that move a felt hammer to strike the strings when a key is depressed
    pump action, slide action
    action mechanism in a modern rifle or shotgun; a back and forward motion of a sliding lever ejects the empty shell case and cocks the firearm and loads a new round
    an obsolete gunlock that has flint embedded in the hammer; the flint makes a spark that ignites the charge
    wheel lock
    an obsolete gunlock using flint and a revolving wheel
    type of:
    device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function
Word Family

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