from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The strategic use of immediately effective acts, such as strikes, demonstrations, or sabotage, to achieve a political or social end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See Direct-acting.

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a protest action by labor or minority groups to obtain their demands


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • 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.

    Alcohol and The Addictive Brain

  • Naloxone was blocking the direct action of alcohol at a receptor site shared by alcohol and opiates.

    Alcohol and The Addictive Brain

  • 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 Threat of Proliferation: Global Resolve and Australian Action

  • The manner in which the secretions of the alimentary canal and of certain glands -- as the liver, kidneys, or mamm├Ž 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.

    The expression of the emotions in man and animals

  • As at Bialystok he did not inform me of this direct action on his part.



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