Syn. 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.
(Ac"tion*a*ble) a. [Cf. LL. actionabilis. See Action.] That may be the subject of an action
or suit at law; as, to call a man a thief is actionable.
(Ac"tion*a*bly), adv. In an actionable manner.
(Ac"tion*a*ry Ac"tion*ist) n. [Cf. F. actionnaire.] (Com.) A shareholder in joint-stock company.
(Ac"tion*less), a. Void of action.
(Ac"ti*vate) v. t. To make active. [Obs.]
(Ac"tive) a. [F. actif, L. activus, fr. agere to act.]
1. Having the power or quality of acting; causing change; communicating action or motion; acting; opposed
to passive, that receives; as, certain active principles; the powers of the mind.
2. Quick in physical movement; of an agile and vigorous body; nimble; as, an active child or animal.
Active and nervous was his gait.
3. In action; actually proceeding; working; in force; opposed to quiescent, dormant, or extinct; as, active
laws; active hostilities; an active volcano.
4. Given to action; constantly engaged in action; energetic; diligent; busy; opposed to dull, sluggish,
indolent, or inert; as, an active man of business; active mind; active zeal.
5. Requiring or implying action or exertion; opposed to sedentary or to tranquil; as, active employment
or service; active scenes.
6. Given to action rather than contemplation; practical; operative; opposed to speculative or theoretical; as,
an active rather than a speculative statesman.
7. Brisk; lively; as, an active demand for corn.
8. Implying or producing rapid action; as, an active disease; an active remedy.