American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The strategic use of immediately effective acts, such as strikes, demonstrations, or sabotage, to achieve a political or social end.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In mech., characterized by direct action: a term applied to engines which have the piston-rod or cross-head connected directly to, or by a connecting-rod with, the crank, dispensing with working-beams and side levers: as, a direct-action steam-engine. A rectilinear motion of the piston is insured by a cross-head at the end of the piston-rod, which slides in parallel guides, or, in the case of the oscillating engine, the cylinder vibrates in accordance with the movement of the crank. Special types of direct-action engines are the annular double-cylinder, double-piston, inclined-cylinder, inverted-cylinder, oscillating, sliding-cover, steeple-, and trunk-engines. Also applied to steam-pumps which have the steam-piston connected by the piston-rod directly to the pump-piston or plunger, and which have valve-gear that prevents stopping on what is called the dead-center. Such pumps work without cranks or fly-wheels.
- n. A form of political activism, in which participants act directly, ignoring established political procedures. This is often (but not always) accomplished by means of strikes, workplace occupations, sabotage, sit-ins, squatting, revolutionary/guerrilla warfare, demonstrations, vandalism or graffiti.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Mach.), (Trade unions) See Direct-acting.
- n. a protest action by labor or minority groups to obtain their demands
“We have proposed from these experiments that alcohol increases release not by a direct action on the dopamine neuron but through the release of an endogenous delta opioid agonist, possibly met-enkephalin, to modulate dopamine activity.”
“Naloxone was blocking the direct action of alcohol at a receptor site shared by alcohol and opiates.”
“Its brother company, Land-Rover, another member of the Ford Motors group not known for the sparing use of fuel, has recently had a taste of direct action from Greenpeace.”
“Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say, purely and simply, it means a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally, according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican, in proportion as it has in its composition more or less of this ingredient of the direct action of the citizens.”
“The revelations about Dr Khan's activities thus underscore the need for strong and direct action against proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.”
“The manner in which the secretions of the alimentary canal and of certain glands -- as the liver, kidneys, or mammæ are affected by strong emotions, is another excellent instance of the direct action of the sensorium on these organs, independently of the will or of any serviceable associated habit.”
“As at Bialystok he did not inform me of this direct action on his part.”
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