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Definitions of action

  1. the state of being active; "his sphere of activity"; "he is out of action" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  2. something done (usually as opposed to something said); "there were stories of murders and other unnatural actions" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  3. 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" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  4. a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  5. 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 Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  6. 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" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  7. the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism; "the piano had a very stiff action" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  8. the trait of being active and energetic and forceful; "a man of action" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  9. the series of events that form a plot; "his novels always have a lot of action" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  10. a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings); "the action of natural forces"; "volcanic activity" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  11. put in effect; "carry out a task"; "execute the decision of the people"; "He actioned the operation" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  12. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  13. An act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (pl.): Habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor. Webster Dictionary DB
  14. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  15. Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action. Webster Dictionary DB
  16. Effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech action of a gun. Webster Dictionary DB
  17. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  18. Gesticulation; the external deportment of the speaker, or the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures, and countenance, to the subject, or to the feelings. Webster Dictionary DB
  19. The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted. Webster Dictionary DB
  20. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  21. A right of action; as, the law gives an action for every claim. Webster Dictionary DB
  22. A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds; hence, in the plural, equivalent to stocks. Webster Dictionary DB
  23. An engagement between troops in war, whether on land or water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial action. Webster Dictionary DB
  24. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  25. Another term for a lawsuit. For example, a plaintiff might say, "I began this negligence action last fall after the defendant, Ms. Adams, struck me while I was crossing the street at Elm and Main."
  26. The state of being in motion, as opposed to that of being at rest; the doing of something; the effect of one body or substance upon another; only when singular; something done; conduct; behavior: only when plural; a suit begun by one party against another in a court of law; effective motion, as of machinery; a military or naval engagement. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  27. 1. The performance of any of the vital functions, the manner of such performance, or the result of the same. 2. The exertion of any force or power, physical, chemical, or mental. A practical medical dictionary. By Stedman, Thomas Lathrop. Published 1920.
  28. The work of a function; a morbid process. Warner's pocket medical dictionary of today. By William R. Warner. Published 1898.
  29. A state of acting: a deed: operation: gesture: a battle: a lawsuit. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  30. A deed; operation; gesture; a battle; a lawsuit. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  31. The process or mode of acting; operation; activity. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  32. The thing done; deed; a battle; lawsuit. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  33. The state of acting or being active; operation; a deed; conduct; behaviour; gesture in speaking; an engagement between troops of war. A suit or process in the form of claim. The normal or abnormal performance of the function of an organ. The series of events in a piece, called also the subject or fable. The attitude or position of the several parts of the body in a work of art, as expressive of passion. In France, action is a share in the capital stock of a company, equivalent to our term share. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  34. The state of acting or moving; force exerted by one body on another; a deed; a battle. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  35. When a party in court exercises its legal rights by means of writ. thelawdictionary.org
  36. Conduct, behaviour, something done. Nomen actionis latissime patere vulgo notum est ac comprehenders omnem omnino viventis operationem quae passioni opponitur. Vinnius, Com. lib. 4, tit. 6. De actionibus. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  37. Human actions have been divided into necessary actions, or those over which man has no control; and into free actions, or such as he can control at his pleasure. As man is responsible only when he exerts his will, it is clear lie can be punished only for the Iatter. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  38. Actions are also divided into positives and negative the former is called an act of commision the latter is the omission of something which ought to be done, and is called an act of omission. A man may be responsible as well for acts of omission, as for acts of commission. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  39. Actions are voluntary and involuntary. The former are performed freely and without constraintthe latter are performed not by choice, against one's will or in a manner independent of the will. In general a man is not responsible for his involuntary actions. Yet it has been ruled that if a lunatic hurt a man, he shall be answerable in trespass, although, if he kill a man, it is not felony. See Hob. Rep. 134; Popham, 162; Pam. N. P. 68. See also Duress; Will. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  40. French com. law. Stock in a coompany, shares in a corporation. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  41. In practice. Actio nihil aliud est, quam jus persequendi in judicio quod sibi debetur. Just. Inst. Lib. 4, tit. 6; Vinnius, Com. Actions are divided into criminal and civil. Bac. Abr. Actions, A. 2. – 1. A criminal action is a prosecution in a court of justice in the name of the government, against one or more individuals accused of a crime. See 1 Chitly's Cr. Law. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  42. A civil action is a legal demand of one's right, or it is the form given by law for the recovery of that which is due. Co. Litt. 285; 3 Bl. Com. 116; 9 Bouv. Inst. n. 2639; Domat. Supp. des Lois Civiles, liv. 4, tit. 1, No. 1; Poth. Introd. generale aux Coutumes, 109; 1 Sell. Pr. Introd. s. 4, p. 73. Ersk. Princ. of Scot. Law, B. 41 t. 1. 1. Till judgment the writ is properly called an action, but not after, and therefore, a release of all actions is regularly no bar of all execution. Co. Litt. 289 a; Roll. Ab. 291. They are real, personal and mixed. An action is real or personal, according as realty or personalty is recovered; not according to the nature of the defence. Willes' Rep. 134. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  43. Real actions are those brought for the specific recovery of lands, tenements, or hereditaments. Steph. PI. 3. They are either droitural, when the demandant seeks to recover the property; or possessory when he endeavors to obtain the possession. Finch's Law, 257, 8. See Bac. Abr. Actions, A, contra. Real Actions are, 1st. Writs of right; 2dly, Writs of entry, which lie in the per, the per et cui, or the post, upon disseisin, intrusion. or alienation. 3dly. Writs ancestral possessory, as Mort d' ancester, aid, besaiel, cosinage, or Nuper obiit. Com. Dig. Actions, D 2. By these actions formerly all disputes concerning real estate, were decided; but now they are pretty generally laid aside in practice, upon account of the great nicety required in their management, and the inconvenient length of their process; a much more expeditious, method of trying titles being since introduced by other actions, personal and mixed. 3 Bl. Com. 118. See Booth on Real Actions. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  44. Personal actions are those brought for the specific recovery of goods and chattels; or for damages or other redress for breach of contract, or other injuries, of whatever description; the specific recovery of lands, tenements, and hereditaments only excepted. Steph. PI. 3; Com. Dig. Actions, D 3; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2641. Personal actions arise either upon contracts, or for wrongs independently of contracts. The former are account, assumpsit, covenant, debt, and detinue; see these words. In Connecticut and Vermont there is, an action used which is peculiar to those states, called the action of book debt. 2 Swift's Syst. Ch. 15. The actions for wrongs, injuries, or torts, are trespass on the case, replevin, trespass, trover. See these words, and see Actio personalis moritur cum persona. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  45. Mixed actions are such as appertain, in some degree, to both the former classes, and, therefore, are properly reducible to neither of them, being brought for the specific recovery of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, and for damages for injury sustained in respect of such property. Steph. Pl. 3; Co. Litt. 284, b; Com. Dig. Actions, D 4. Every mixed action, properly so called, is also a real action. The action of ejectment is a personal action, and formerly, a count for an assault and battery might be joined with a count for the recovery of a term of Years in land. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  46. Actions are also divided into those which are local and such as are transitory. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  47. A local action is one in which the venue must still be laid in the county, in which the cause of action actually arose. The locality of actions is founded in some cases, on common law principles, in others on the statute law. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  48. Of those which continue local, by the common law, are, lst, all actions in which the subject or thing to be recovered is in its nature local. Of this class are real actions, actions of waste, when brought on the statute of Gloucester, (6 Edw. I.) to recover with the damages, the locus in quo or place wasted; and actions of ejectment. Bac. Abr. Actions Local, &c. A, a; Com. Dig. Actions, N 1; 7 Co. 2 b; 2 Bl. Rep. 1070. All these are local, because they are brought to recover the seisin or possession of lands or tenements, which are local subjects. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  49. Ly. Various actions which do not seek the direct recovery of lands or tenements, are also local, by the common law; because they arise out of some local subject, or the violation of some local right or interest. For example, the action of quare impedit is local, inasmuch as the benefice, in the right of presentationto which the plaintiff complains of being obstructed, is so. 7 Co. 3 a; 1 Chit. PI. 271; Com. Dig. Actions, N 4. Within this class of cases are also many actions in which only pecuniary damages are recoverable. Such are the common law action of waste, and trespass quare clausum fregit; as likewise trespass on the case for injuries affecting things real, as for nuisances to houses or lands; disturbance of rights of way or of common; obstruction or diversion of ancient water courses, &c. 1 Chit. Pl. 271; Gould on Pl. ch. 3, 105, 106, 107. The action of replevin, also, though it lies for damages only, and does not arise out of the violation of any local right, is nevertheless local. 1 Saund. 347, n. 1. The reason of its locality appears to be the necessity of giving a local description of the taking complained of. Gould on PI. ch. 3, 111. A scire facias upon a record, (which is an action, 2 Term Rep. 46,) although to some intents, a continuation of the original suit, 1 Term Rep. 388, is also local. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  50. Personal actions which seek nothing more than the recovery of money or personal chattels of any kind, are in most cases transitory, whether they sound in tort or in contract; Com. Dig. Actions, N 12; 1 Chit. PI. 273; because actions of this class are, in most instances, founded on the violation of rights which, in contemplation of law, have no locality. 1 Saund. 241, b, note 6. And it will be found true, as a general position, that actions ex delicto, in which a mere personalty is recoverable, are, by the common law, transitory;except when founded upon, or arising out of some local subject. Gould on Pl. ch. 3, 112. The venue in a transitory action may be laid in any county which the plaintiff may prefer. Bac. Abr. Actions Local, &c. A. (a.) 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  51. In the civil law actions are divided into real, personal, and mixed. A real action, according to the civil law, is that which he who is the owner of a thing, or, has a right in it, has against him who is in possession of it, to compel him to give up the plaintiff, or to permit him to enjoy the right he has in it. It is a right which a person has in a thing, follows the thing, and may be instituted against him who possesses it; and this whether the thing be movable or immovable and, in the sense of the common law, whether the thing be real or personal. See Domat, Supp. des Lois Civiles, Liv. 4, tit. 1, n. 5; Pothier, Introd. Generales aux Coutumes 110; Ersk. Pr. Scot. Law, B. 4, t. 1, 2. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  52. A personal action is that which a creditor has against his debtor, to compel him to fulfil his engagement. Pothier, lb. Personal actions are divided into civil actions and criminal actions. The former are those which are instituted to compel the payment or to do some other thing purely civil the latter are those by which the plaintiff asks the reparation of a tort or injury which he or those who belong to him have sustained. Sometimes these two kinds of actions are united when they assume the name of mixed personal actions. Domat, Supp. des Lois Civiles, Liv. 4, tit. 1, n. 4; 1 Brown's Civ. Law, 440. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  53. Mixed actions participate both of personal and real actions. Such are the actions of partition, and to compel the parties to put down landmarks or boundaries. Domat, ubi supra. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  54. ACTION, in law, a term used by jurists in three different senses: (1) a right to institute proceedings in a court of justice to obtain redress for a wrong (actio nihil aliud est quam jus prosequendi in judicio quod alicui debetur, Bracton, de Legibus Angliae, bk. iii. ch. i., f. 98 b); (2) the proceeding itself (action n’est auter chose que loyall demande de son droit, Co. Litt. 285 (a)); (3) the particular form of the proceeding. The term is derived from the Roman law (actio), in which it is used in all three senses. In the history of Roman law, actions passed through three stages. The first period (terminated about 170 b.c. by the Lex Aebutia) is known as the system of legis actiones, and was based on the precepts of the XII. tables and used before the praetor urbanus. These actiones were five in number—sacramenti, per judicis postulationem, per condictionem, per manus injectionem, per pignoris captionem. The first was the primitive and characteristic action of the Roman law, and the others were little more than modes of applying it to cases not contemplated in the original form, or of carrying the result of it into execution when the action had been decided. The legis actiones were superseded by the formulae, originated by the praetor peregrinus for the determination of controversies between foreigners, but found more flexible than the earlier system and made available for citizens by the Lex Aebutia. Under both these systems the praetor referred the matter in dispute to an arbiter (judex), but in the later he settled the formula (i.e. the issues to be referred and the appropriate form of relief) before making the order of reference. In the third stage, the formulary stage fell into disuse, and after a.d. 342 the magistrate himself or his deputy decided the controversy after the defending party had been duly summoned by a libellus.The classifications of actiones in Roman law were very numerous. The division which is still most universally recognized is that of actions in rem and actions in personam (Sohm, Roman Law, tr. by Ledlie, 2nd ed. 277). An action in rem asserts a right to a particular thing against all the world. An action in personam asserts a right only against a particular person. Perhaps the best modern example of the distinction is that made in maritime cases between an action against a ship after a collision at sea, and an action against the owners of the ship.In English law the term “action” at a very early date became associated with civil proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas, which were distinguished from pleas of the crown, such as indictments or informations and for suits in the Court of Chancery or in the Admiralty or ecclesiastical courts. The English action was a proceeding commenced by writ original at the common law. The remedy was of right and not of grace. The history of actions is the history of civil procedure in the courts of common law. As a result of the reform of civil procedure by the Judicature Acts the term “action” in English law now means at the High Court of Justice “a civil proceeding commenced by writ of summons or in such other manner as may be prescribed by rules of court” (e.g. by originating summons). The proceeding thus commenced ends by judgment and execution. This definition includes proceedings under the Chancery, Admiralty and Probate jurisdiction of the High Court, but excludes proceedings commenced by petition, such as divorce suits and bankruptcy and winding-up matters, as well as criminal proceedings in the High Court or applications for the issue of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus or certiorari. The Judicature Acts and Rules have had the effect of abolishing all the forms of “action” used at the common law and of creating one common form of legal proceeding for all ordinary controversies between subjects in whatever division of the High Court. The stages in an English action are the writ, by which the persons against whom relief is claimed are summoned before the court; the pleadings and interlocutory steps, by which the issues between the parties are adjusted; the trial, at which the issues of fact and law involved are brought before the tribunal; the judgment, by which the relief sought is granted or refused; and execution, by which the law gives to the successful party the fruits of the judgment.The procedure varies according as the action is in the High Court, a county court or one of the other local courts of record which still survive; but there is no substantial difference in the incidents of trial, judgment and execution in any of these courts. The initial difference between actions in the High Court and the county court is that the latter are commenced by plaint lodged in the court, on which a summons is prepared by the court and served by its bailiff, whereas in the High Court the party prepares the writ and lodges it in court for sealing, and when it is sealed, himself effects the service.An action is said to “lie” when the law provides a remedy for some particular act or omission by a subject which infringes the legal rights of another subject. An act of such a character is said to give a “cause of action.” In the action the person who alleges himself aggrieved claims a judgment of the court in his favour giving an adequate and appropriate remedy for the injury or damage which he has sustained by the infraction of his rights. As to the time within which an action must be brought, see Limitation, Statutes of. When the rights of a subject are infringed by the illegal action of the state, an action lies in England against the officers who have done the wrong, unless the claim be one arising out of breach of a contract with the state, or out of an “Act of State.” For a breach by the state of a contract made between the state and a subject the remedy of the subject is, as a general rule, not by action against the agents of the state who acted for the state with reference to the making or breach of the contract, but against the Crown itself by the proceeding called Petition of Right (see Petition).While as a generic term “action” in its proper legal sense includes suits by the Crown and “criminal actions” (see Co. Litt. 284b; Bracton, de Legibus Angliae, bk. iii. ch. v. f. 1046; Bradlaugh v. Clarke, 1883, 8 App. Cas. 354, 361, 374), in popular language it is taken to mean a proceeding by a subject and is now rarely applied in England even by lawyers to criminal proceedings. What are now known as “penal actions,” i.e. proceedings in which an individual who has not suffered personally by a breach of the law sues as a common informer for the statutory penalty either on his own benefit or on behalf also of the Crown (qui tam pro rege quam pro se ipso), bear some analogy to the actio popularis of Roman law, from which they are derived (see the statute 4 Hen. VII. 1488); but they are now treated for most purposes as civil and not as criminal proceedings. The law of Scotland follows the lines of the civil law, and the expression “criminal action” is in use to distinguish proceedings to punish offences against the public as distinguished from civil action, brought to enforce a private right.In the United States, and the British colonies in which English law runs by settlement, charter, proclamation or statute, the nature of an action is substantially the same as in England. The differences between one state of the Union and another, and one colony and another, depend mainly on the extent to which the old procedure of the common law has been abolished, simplified or reformed by local legislation.Authorities.—Roman Law: Sohm, Institutes of Roman Law, W. G. Ledlie (2nd ed., 1901). English Law: Pollock and Maitland, English Law; Holmes, The Common Law; Bullen and Leake, Prec. Pleadings (3rd ed.; 6th ed. 1905). en.wikisource.org
  55. ak'shun, n. a state of acting: activity in the abstract: a deed: operation: gesture: a battle: a lawsuit, or proceedings in a court: the movement of events in a drama, novel, &c.--adj. AC'TIONABLE, liable to a lawsuit.--n. AC'TION-TAK'ING (Shak.), resenting an injury by a lawsuit instead of fighting it out like a man of honour. gutenberg.org/ebooks/37683
  56. Mode in which one object influences another. The animal actions are those that occur in the animal body: the vital, those that are essential to life: the physiological, those of a healthy character: the pathological or morbid, those that occur in disease, &c. The ancients divided the physiological actions into vital, animal, natural, sexual, particular, general, &c. See Function. Medical Lexicon. A Dictionary of Medical Science
  57. Process of acting, exertion of energy of influence, as men of a., put in a., a. of an acid; thing done, act; (in drama) series of events represented; mode of acting, management of body, &c., as a. of a player, horse, piano; mechanism of an instrument; legal process; engagement between troops. [French] Concise Oxford Dictionary
  58. Bring a legal action against. Concise Oxford Dictionary
  59. In mechanics, the effect of a force, whether apparent or concealed. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  60. Any chemical change. See reaction. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  61. In physiology, the performance of a function. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  62. In pathology, a morbid process, e. g., febrile a. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  63. In therapeutics, the operation of a drug. [Lat.] Appleton's medical dictionary.
  64. [L.] An engagement of minor proportions to those of a battle. Action of a moving system, or Quantity of Action, is a quantity proportional to the average kinetic energy of the system during a certain time, multiplied by the time. (For Action and Reaction, vide Reaction.) Glossary of terms and phrases - Percy
  65. n. Exertion of power or force; motion produced; agency;—an act or thing done; a deed; conduct; behaviour; demeanour;—gesture or gesticu­lation ;—a suit or process, by which a demand is made of a right in a court of justice ;—an engagement between troops in war. Cabinet Dictionary
  66. The quality or state acting opposite to rest; an act or thing done, a deed; agency, operation; the series of events represented in a fable; gesticulation, the accordance of the motions of the body with the words spoken; a term in law. Complete Dictionary

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