mid-14c., "cause or grounds for a lawsuit," from Anglo-French accioun, Old French accion (12c.) "action, lawsuit, case," from Latin actionem (nominative actio) "a putting in motion; a performing, doing," noun of action from past participle stem of agere "to do" (see act (v.)). Sense of "something done, an act, deed" is late 14c. Meaning "fighting" is from c. 1600. As a film director's command, it is attested from 1923. Meaning "excitement" is recorded from 1968. Phrase actions speak louder than words is attested from 1731.
1. The action is an open violation of the Vienna Convention.
2. Now there is a dawning realisation that drastic action is necessary.
3. The lift started off, juddered, and went out of action.
4. The action seemed a clumsy attempt to topple the Janata Dal government.
5. Legal action is being taken to try to recover the money.