man of action

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man of action (plural men of action)

  1. (set phrase) One who acts or reacts boldly, without hesitation, and often without forethought, especially in situations which are adventurous or dangerous.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company, ch. 8:
      "I have heard that the Scots are good men of war," said Hordle John.
      "For axemen and for spearmen I have not seen their match," the archer answered. []
      "And the French?" asked Alleyne, to whom the archer's light gossip had all the relish that the words of the man of action have for the recluse.
    • 1909, O. Henry, "Roads of Destiny":
      The third was a man of action, a combatant, a bold and impatient executive, breathing fire and steel.
    • 1942 June 1, "Heroes: Jimmy Did It," Time (retrieved 26 May 2018):
      The world found out last week who led the daring, destructive noonday air raid on Japan last month. . . . pugnacious Brigadier General James Harold Doolittle, 45, speed flyer, engineer, scholar and man of action.
    • 2017 December 1, Charles McGrath, "Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters," (book review), New York Times (retrieved 26 May 2018):
      Patrick Leigh Fermor [] was a man of letters but also, like his hero Byron, a man of action—a war hero and a restless adventurer, who even swam the Hellespont when he was 69.