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under- +‎ action


  • IPA(key): /ˌʌndəɹˈækʃən/
  • (file)


underaction (countable and uncountable, plural underactions)

  1. Subordinate action; a minor action incidental or subsidiary to the main story; an episode.
    • 1697, Virgil, “Dedication to Virgil's Aeneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, page [151]:
      The least and most trivial episodes or underactions [] are parts necessary or convenient to carry on the main design.
  2. Inefficient action.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for underaction in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913)