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[Latin actio legal proceeding, from agere to do, carry out, initiate legal proceedings]
1 a : a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense compare special proceeding at proceeding
b : the right to bring or maintain such a legal or judicial proceeding
2 : an act or decision by an executive or legislative body of a government (as an administrative agency) or of an organization (as a Board of Directors) [the power of courts to invalidate statutes and executive s "R. H. Bork"]
3 : a voluntary act of will that manifests itself externally
: a mode of conduct
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.