190+ Action Verbs: Powerful Words and Examples

Check out our guide with action verbs to add to your next piece of writing; create impactful storylines that keep your readers hooked with these powerful verbs.

Action verbs add an extra “oomph!” to your writing, helping you to describe the many things your characters will achieve throughout the story. Learning how to use action verbs will enhance your writing, help to define your characters, and allow your readers to grasp the plot points with ease.

However, action verbs aren’t just for story writing. They’re also ideal to use in your resume when applying for jobs. Check out what Indeed.com says about using action verbs:

“The action verbs give the reader a clear understanding of what is happening. When used within a resume or cover letter, action verbs help the application package stand out from other submissions.”

So, it’s important to learn the correct action verbs to use in your writing to make a lasting impact on the readers. Whether you’re working on a fiction book, an essay, or sprucing up your resume, we’ve got everything you need to level up your writing. If you’re interested in this topic, check out our list of feeling words for more!

What Are Action Verbs?

Communicate is one action verb that you can use to spruce up your creative writing

Action verbs, a.k.a. dynamic verbs, express an action a person takes. They are one of two major categories of verbs in English (the other one being stative verbs). In other words, active verbs describe what a person is doing or has done and are, consequently, often used in business.

One typical example where action verbs shine is the bullet statement format used when the writer wants to describe their accomplishments using a bare minimum of words. However, remember that not all action verbs are made equal. The words that cement the image of the writer accomplishing something instead of merely being in charge of it are the best choice.

E.g., “handling” is not as illustrative as “executing.” Precision takes precedence and makes a lasting impact. Therefore, pick your verbs carefully. You might also be interested in our list of boring words and phrases to avoid in your writing.

Action Verbs Printable

Action verbs list
Compose   (oneself)IllustrateResolve
Co-produce   (Coproduce)InvestSurvey
CreateJoinTeam (up)
CurateJokeTest (out)

Mental Action Verbs

Mental action verbs describe intellectual or inner dynamic actions. Discerning them can be challenging as many stative verbs describe thoughts and opinions. Therefore, we’re starting with some notable examples of mental action verbs. You might also be interested in our homophones word list.

1. Analyze

He was analyzing testimonials all night and was late for work in the morning.

2. Appreciate

He appreciates that cooperation with the sales department is a necessary evil.

3. Consider

Mark considered his roommate’s decisions as foolish but kept silent.

4. Dream

As a child, Anna dreamt of playing the flute, but her parents never allowed it.

5. Evaluate

Nicholas wasn’t able to evaluate the situation properly due to shock.

6. Fear

I fear that the situation is getting out of hand.

7. Forget

Don’t forget to bring the book tomorrow!

8. Grow

The idea is growing on me.

9. Imagine

I imagine you’re referring to Star Wars.

10. Learn

The CEO failed to learn anything from employee feedback.

11. Memorize

I try to memorize five new Chinese words every day.

12. Ponder

I’m always pondering how to improve my attitude in adversity.  

13. Remember

She could vaguely remember Nick’s face after all those years they’d been apart.

14. Resolve

He resolved to learn Japanese and head the regional branch.

15. Review

Reviewing for exams can help students join the dots seamlessly.

16. Think

Don’t you think John was unhappy about the prospect?

Action Verbs Denoting Personal Improvement

To underline success, professional and personal alike, you may use suitable action verbs denoting improvement. Here are some examples: 

17. Accomplish

I think I’ve accomplished much in this short amount of time.

18. Customize

Our IT team has customized the chatbot.

19. Demonstrate

They demonstrated their knowledge during the seminar.

20. Merge

Merging the two start-ups was the best decision they ever made.  

21. Modify

Larry modified his views to meet project requirements.

22. Overhaul

Shareholders have decided to overhaul the training program.

23. Revamp

She set to revamp company policies to include hybrid work models.

24. Revitalize

Yoga classes can help you revitalize your body and spirit in no time.

25. Streamline

Mark worked hard to streamline operations to benefit the entire team.

26. Strengthen

She strengthened her resolve to deal with her past trauma.

27. Surpass     

He has truly surpassed himself with his latest whitepaper.

28. Test

I’m just testing my theory out; is there something wrong with that?

29. Train

Did you know she trained as a psychologist before becoming a translator?

30. Transform

Transforming my career advancement plans is the best thing I’ve ever done.

31. Translate

My teacher says I must translate this sentence twenty times to grasp synonyms.

32. Update

We’d appreciate it if you could keep us updated on the procedure.

33. Upgrade

I’ve upgraded my skills! Now, I’m a high-level wizard!

Action Verbs Denoting Productivity  

There are many action verbs suitable for business English. Let’s consider some examples of verbs denoting productivity. You might also be interested in our list of describing words.

34. Achieve

I need to work hard to achieve my goals.

35. Author

Becoming an author can be one of the most creative and rewarding careers.

36. Publish

The feeling of publishing your first novel is like nothing else; the excitement and pride you will feel are unparalleled.

37. Actualize

To actualize your potential, you need to train harder.

38. Adapt

He’s adapting the play to suit a wider audience.

39. Address

He addressed the audience with an enthusiasm rarely witnessed before.

40. Adjust

Individuals need to adjust their approach to suit the team.

41. Advance

The creditor advanced $100 million to help the business with debt repayments.

42. Amplify

Maria’s vision of the upcoming meeting with shareholders was amplifying her morale.

43. Boost

The initiative aims to boost sales during the peak season.

44. Capitalize

He capitalized on the sudden increase in demand.

45. Collect

I’m going to collect the latest issue of the magazine first thing tomorrow morning.

46. Compute

The management uses feedback to compute the rate of employee performance.

47. Conceive

I simply can’t conceive how you could be so insensitive!

48. Conceptualize

I’m unsure if I’ll be able to conceptualize the bigger picture, but I’ll give it my best shot.

49. Consolidate

The HR department consolidated its processes in an attempt to attract talent.

50. Construct

I’m constructing the argument in my mind and have yet to shape it into words.

51. Co-produce

Good news, everyone: we’ll be co-producing the new car model with Honda!

52. Curate

Hannah curated the exhibit alongside her husband, rumored to be an expert in the field. 

53. Debug

Nina has been tasked with debugging the company’s in-house software.

54. Deliver

Ronaldo rarely fails to deliver a perfect pass.

55. Design

We’ve hired a wildly popular digital artist to design our holiday brochure.

56. Devise

He’s good at devising out-of-the-box solutions; that’s why we hired him in the first place.

57. Diagnose

Will you be able to diagnose the error by the end of the day?

58. Enhance

Simon is trying to enhance his reputation by demonstrating his unique expertise.

59. Expedite

Teams’ efforts expedited departmental plans.

60. Explore

The brand is exploring collaborating on a new project with the new regional start-up.

61. Further

Mary’s donation furthered her company’s positive outlook.

62. Improve

We need to improve our merger plans.

63. Maximize

Johanna’s superb design skills maximized company impact during the presentation.  

64. Proofread

Nicholas proofreads books for an established publishing company.

65. Reconcile

Reconciling opposing viewpoints may be challenging, but we need to succeed all the same.

66. Stimulate

Her speech stimulated everyone present to perform better.

67. Sustain

Seasonal earnings will sustain our business during the dormant season.

68. Yield

She refused to yield power to the shareholders.

Action Verbs Denoting Ability

Action verbs can be used to efficiently communicate one’s ability. Here are some examples to help you get started.

69. Administer

They had to administer the revenues to prevent unfair play.

70. Code

I’m thinking of learning to code programs.

71. Complete

He is working overtime to complete work.

72. Develop

She’s trying to develop empathy in an attempt to reinvent herself.

73. Document

We need to document and report employee feedback before the next meeting.

74. Drive                        

Sadly, Mary can’t drive, although she’s having none of it!

75. Edit

She edits a business magazine that’s becoming more popular by the day.

76. Execute

The higher-ups are set to execute the new strategy.

77. Expand

There’s much I need to learn to expand my views.

78. Implement

We plan to implement a policy allowing all new hires to sign up for benefits.

79. Interpret

We need to interpret the stats as best we can; we’re not getting any help from higher-ups.

80. Operate

Do you know how to operate the machines?

81. Organize

If I wanted you to organize my life, I wouldn’t have looked for a roommate.

82. Perform

I need to study more if I want to perform better than average.

83. Prepare

I am prepared for any eventuality.  

84. Realize

Can you realize the target or not?

Action Verbs Denoting Leadership Traits

Action verbs can be rather impactful when denoting leadership traits. They communicate expertise and willingness to deal with any obstacle. Here are the finest examples of dynamic verbs denoting leadership aspirations and expertise:

85. Arrange

I’ll arrange everything, so the only thing you need to do is follow through.

86. Assess

Management assessed the cost of the latest marketing initiative at ca. £7,000.

87. Assign

I’m assigning this job to you because I find your soft skills quite suitable.

88. Assist

My brother said he’d assist me with the task.

89. Attain

You need to decide on your own how to attain the goal; it’s rather subjective.

90. Authorize

To appeal to the workforce, the CEO authorized additional PTO.  

91. Build

He’s built his career around his seamless communication skills.

92. Chair

Peculiarly enough, chairing the meeting is a new hire.

93. Coach

She is performing her tasks so seamlessly that I’m wondering if she’s been coached by a professional.

94. Coordinate

We need to coordinate our efforts to get the job done ASAP.

95. Delegate

Shouldn’t she be delegating work faster?

96. Deploy

Higher-ups are deploying resources more sparingly due to past grievances.

97. Direct

A police officer is directing the traffic again.

98. Empower

The matter of how to empower remote workers is gaining broad recognition.

99. Enable

Is it right to enable new hires to become workaholics?

100. Encourage

Top brass are encouraging project development as it is expected to make them rich overnight.

101. Enforce

The police are trying to enforce speed limits with varying degrees of success.

102. Engineer

Can we engineer a successful meeting between office employees and remote teams?

103. Examine

They’re examining the cause of the failure with the help of our brand-new AI solution.

104. Exceed

He is exceeding all expectations; he’s truly a marvel!

105. Explain

Joshua explained to his mates that he’d be leaving the band due to personal obligations.

106. Foster

They’re fostering a sense of inclusivity, but I can tell they’re not too happy about the whole affair.

107. Fulfill

He has failed to fulfill his promise and is trying to make amends.

108. Guide

Mr. Smith guided us through all the trials and tribulations of the takeover.

109. Head

He is heading the meeting regardless of the uproar.

110. Help

Helping him overcome the divorce was the best thing I ever did.

111. Individualize

Our HR teams are individualizing onboarding programs to allow for better personalization.

112. Inspect

We went to inspect the damage after the flood.

113. Instruct

The management instructed the team to align goals with the brand mission.

114. Invest

He’s invested in his studies and hardly has any spare time for anything else.

115. Investigate

They’ve investigated allegations of corruption and found nothing conclusive.

116. Lecture

Is he lecturing newcomers again?

117. Lobby

Businesses are lobbying for proposed changes in the tax laws.

118. Maintain

Jonny is maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a little help from his wife.

119. Manage

He has managed finances for as long as I can remember.

120. Map         

IT teams are mapping all network drives at the moment.

121. Moderate

Mary thinks she needs to moderate her stance as she came across as overly harsh.

122. Mold

Our HR experts mold new hires’ characters with ease.

123. Motivate

I am motivated to help my friends achieve their goals.

124. Network

Company meetings are a good opportunity to network.

125. Orchestrate

He charged us with orchestrating the production.

126. Outperform

Our company will easily outperform our biggest competitor again.

127. Oversee

We need to appoint an engineer to oversee the construction.

128. Participate

We’ll all participate in the upcoming get-along and are fired up.

129. Partner

Mark and Maria partnered for the competition, hoping to place better.

130. Plan

They are planning a project in line with new directives.

131. Preside

The new integrator will preside at tomorrow’s meeting.

132. Probe

Their HR representative probed into my private life, and I’m outraged!

133. Project

The revenue is projected to surge again.

134. Spearhead

He spearheaded the company’s expansion into the U.S.A.

135. Supervise

The logistics department is supervising the distribution of resources.

136. Support

I planned to support her claim, but she’d been lying through her teeth.

Action Verbs Denoting Initiative

By nature, initiative portends action. That’s why dynamic verbs are so illustrative in this regard. Take a look at a couple of examples below:

137. Ask

I’m asking you again: “Will you be joining us tonight?”

138. Balance

Balancing professional and private life can get tricky during the peak season.

139. Budget

An additional $10 million needs to be budgeted for new projects in Q3.

140. Calculate

I’m calculating the total right now.

141. Chart

Mr. Watson is continually charting the progress of each team member, so be careful.

142. Close

We’ll be able to close the deal tomorrow.

143. Co-author

Maria and her brother have co-authored a vegetarian cookbook.

144. Collaborate

We’ll be collaborating with a Korean firm to develop the new product.

145. Create

Creating new initiatives is going as planned, so don’t worry.

146. Discover

I’m discovering more about the wabi-sabi concept with each passing day.

147. Establish                    

Establishing a new regional branch sounds like a good idea at this point.

148. Facilitate

To facilitate group discussion, project leaders should be inventive.

149. Form

To form an impactful sentence, you should consider using active verbs.

150. Found

Who founded the museum, do you know?

151. Formalize

They are planning to formalize the deal, but details have yet to be defined.

152. Formulate

Try as I might, I failed to formulate a proper response.

153. Gather

Everyone should gather here after work as we will throw a welcome party.

154. Initiate

There are several ways to initiate knowledge sharing, and AI is just the tip of the iceberg.

155. Institute

Policymakers are about to institute a number of measures to enforce public safety.

156. Introduce

Today, he’ll be introducing new technological developments in healthcare.

157. Join

Join us for the outing tonight; it’ll be fun.

158. Joke

Don’t joke around; it’s a serious matter!

159. Kick

The football player kicked his opponent during the match and was removed from the game.

160. Launch

We’re launching the project tomorrow, so prepare for potential inquiries.   

161. Pioneer

He’s regarded as a pioneer in the world of art and literature.

162. Play

Your son is playing with matchsticks again!

163. Present

I’ll present the latest developments I’ve worked hard to come by.

164. Propose

The judge proposed the establishment of special tribunals for the trial of offenses disturbing the general peace.

165. Raise

He did raise some important questions, but the audience remained silent.

166. Reach

I’ll have reached NY headquarters by 5 PM.

167. Survey

I’m surveying the terrain now, so give me some time, and I’ll get back to you with the findings.

168. Team (up)

They teamed up for the upcoming competition, and their morale is through the roof!

169. Tutor

I’ve been tutoring my son, but he’s still as dumb as a brick! It’s infuriating!

170. Visualize

I can visualize my future in the company going forward.

Action Verbs Denoting Excellent Communication Skills

Communication rules supreme, especially in the age of rapid digitalization. Use action verbs to demonstrate your skill! Let’s illustrate best practices.

171. Convince

I am sure I can convince her to share her thoughts.

172. Communicate

We need to communicate the news during the meeting.

173. Compose

It took me some time to compose myself after the incident.

174. Cooperate

My son refuses to cooperate and denies his involvement in the incident.

175. Correspond

He still corresponds with Jamaican friends he met in Germany five years ago.

176. Define

Will you be able to define what’s wrong with this initiative?

177. Draft

Yes, he is drafting the legislation, but he’s taking his time.

178. Illustrate

Let me give you an example to illustrate the point.

179. Outline

The professor outlined his methodology in his latest book.

180. Persuade

Can I persuade you to come with us to the meet-up after work?

181. Promote

Mark was promoted to the First Division after nailing down his previous mission.

182. Publicize

He never did publicize his book, but it was an instant success nevertheless.

183. Write

We’ve managed to find a volunteer to write our manifest.

Finance Action Verbs

Finally, finance experts use action verbs galore and not without a good reason. This hectic industry is best described by dynamic words, but do note that these verbs can be equally impactful in other contexts as well.

Let’s take a look at some notable examples.

184. Appraise

The team is appraising the property, with estimates still being vague.

185. Audit

They audit all accounts annually to ensure they align with company policies.

186. Convert

He keeps converting all his cash from pounds into dollars. Is he planning to visit the States?

187. Decrease

I’m decreasing the revenue forecast due to last month’s unexpected losses.

188. Estimate

Analysts estimate the trend will be reversing any time now.

189. Forecast

Shareholders forecast the profit to grow by 2% in this quarter.

190. Lower

I’ve lowered the assessment to reflect recent data.

191. Measure

Measuring the impact of public involvement in research is never an easy task.

192. Qualify

They seem to think that reading a couple of books on AI qualifies them as experts.

193. Reduce

Team members worked hard to reduce the negative impact the latest marketing initiative had invoked.

194. Report

Reporting with the latest developments is our journalist Mark. Mark, tell us what’s going on!

195. Research

Researching her prior experiences, Viola discovered how to further her goals.

196. Aid

Financial aid is available to help those struggling with essential payments like rent or mortgage fees.

197. Advise

A great accountant will advise you on the best business practices as well as help with your taxes.

Looking for more? Check out our list of adjectives for strong men!