1. 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 action. One wise in council, one in action brave. (Pope)
4. Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.
9. 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 claim.
12. 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. Chose in action the product of the mass of a body by the space it runs through, and its velocity.
Synonym: action, act.
in many cases action and act are synonymous; but some distinction is observable. Action involves the mode or process of acting, and is usually viewed as occupying some time in doing. Act has more reference to the effect, or the operation as complete. To poke the fire is an act, to reconcile friends who have quarreled is a praiseworthy action. (c. J. Smith)
Origin: OF. Action, L. Actio, fr. Agere to do. See Act.