Writing about actions can convey someone’s characteristics better than exposition; read on to discover our top list of action words for writers.
What Are Action Words?
Action words describe actions, states, opinions, senses, or needs. Writers use them to portray how characters move or think, how a scene unfolds, and more. Some action words have intent or context behind them, while others have a more general use. Below is a list of various action words writers use in literature and that you can use in your works:
List of Action Words Printables
Physical Action Words
These action words have a very physical aspect. Writers use them to describe small and large actions.
The librarian would tirelessly arrange all the books to match her standards.
In the old days in Africa, women went to the river to draw water for their families.
Pests can easily enter your house if you don’t seal the windows and doors properly.
Some of my best memories of my cats were when they slept on my lap while I worked.
When you’re visually challenged, the tricky part about having a touch phone is knowing where to press it.
Depending on how many apps your phone needs to run, it can lag or shut down entirely.
Shania doesn’t wear wool sweaters because she has very sensitive skin.
The kids will bike through here on weekends and evenings.
Tristana gave little Lulu a warm hug and Teemo a scathing look.
You may loudly snore because you sleep on your back, so try sleeping sideways.
Her gracefulness as an acrobat showed in their wedding dance. Check out our list of grammar words.
Mental Action Words
Mental action words relate to the mind, thoughts, and other similar factors. Writers use them to specify an idea, cerebral action, or feeling.
Realtors won’t bother you for a few days to give you time to decide.
The tricky part about studying an uncommon fear like thalassophobia is that you can’t find statistics about it.
All Shiloh ever wanted was to feel her mother’s love.
Does anybody remember that weird and funny anime about personified countries being friends and enemies simultaneously?
In our country, surprise birthday parties are considered rude if not everyone in the family gets one.
Our teacher wanted to teach us a lesson about kindness, but the message we understood was that money is power.
Do you think the boys will see The Devil Wears Prada as a psychological thriller as we do?
A church marriage is a sacred promise between a man and a woman.
I don’t dislike him for his personality, but I hate the agenda he’s pushing toward me.
In Harry Potter, an orb called the Remembrall will remind you if you’ve forgotten something, but it won’t tell you what it is.
The other cats perceived Grizabella as a washed-out glamour cat that left their community for fame.
Annie will say, “let’s count to five,” referencing her passive that can stun targets at the fifth use of her abilities.
Out of all the Crain children, Luke was the one whom we thought was playing pretend with ghosts but was playing with an actual girl.
Clara’s father was shocked to learn she had become a runaway bride.
Sound Action Words
Sound action words are words that describe certain sounds. The words could also be the same sounds they’re representing, like onomatopoeias. Writers use them to give readers an idea of the type of sounds in their stories or writing.
In Barbie: The Princess and the Pauper, one of the cats, would bark instead of meow.
I heard that it’s tradition and common practice to holler “timber” when lumberjacks cut down a tree.
You’ll know if the older security guard is the one coming towards the station because he likes to whistle as he makes his rounds.
The worst thing I heard at night was a lady humming from my hallway when I was alone.
Selena would always whisper endearing words to her daughter as she kissed her goodnight.
You can click your tongue in different ways by positioning the organ against different parts of the palate.
Mr. Walt shared how five different kids have asked him if the Big Bang created a loud bang.
Hearing the lively tweets of birds in the mornings is always a refreshing way to start your day.
We saw the lightning first and heard the loud clap of thunder two and a half seconds later.
The man found it difficult to sleep with the constant buzzing of mosquitos in his ear.
The crowd booed the athlete for his unsportsmanlike behavior.
Fight Action Words
Fight action words are words used when describing an altercation or fight. Each word has a specific action and implication, so use them wisely when you write.
The neighbors often saw the woman punch her male companion, both jokingly and seriously.
Helen’s parents often argued loudly during her childhood, causing her to become loud and argumentative.
The storm’s rampage caused mud floods and destroyed property in the small town of Banaue, Ifugao.
He knew we couldn’t kick him out of the team because of his skill, which only made him more arrogant.
My brother’s favorite part of the movie was when King Kong thrashed around New York and climbed up the Empire State Building.
Many young men still join bar brawls, thinking it makes them look powerful and irresistible to women.
Harambe held no hostility in its facial expressions or body language, but they shot him anyway.
Gracie’s biggest contender against Gordon Ryan was Pedro Marino, but watching the match was like watching a tiger devour a kitten.
Being a wrestler and former professional football player, Roman Reigns is no stranger to scrimmages.
In boxing, you must twist your fist when you throw a punch, like uncoiling a spring.
Creation Action Words
Creation action words inform readers of the beginning or inception of an item, idea, action, and others. Before diving in, read our guide on how to boost your creative thinking.
A big advantage of being an engineer is that you can build your own house and save on labor costs.
If you invented this machine, can you tell us how it works?
My aunt loves to design fashionable clothes, but my grandmother wanted her to become a nurse.
The building mechanic expertly installed our air conditioning unit and even shared some AC maintenance tips.
How many layers did she use to create that strawberry shortcake?
Almost no idea is original anymore, so I innovated something new out of what’s already available.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the drink Kenny concocted was tacky and overused.
Twin Electronics is proud to report that we’ve produced and sold over 1.5 million gaming units this year alone.
The thieves will hatch one of the best heists but fail to make a Plan B.
I wonder if she remembers when we all used to write stories together as close friends.
Game Action Words
These action words are words writers use when tackling games, sports, and other similar activities. Consider using these words when you need to write about game-related activities.
We only allow the children to chase each other around the playground between 9 AM and 10:30 AM.
When the machine whirls its giant arm into you, you must duck or risk falling into the pit.
Lizzie never tired of playing board games and tabletop games with her children, enhancing their imaginations and family bonds.
Mikey and Nikki wanted to participate in this year’s online tournament but couldn’t because of the slow internet.
More and more horror video games are now adopting the idea of having the main character hunt down the monsters instead of the other way around.
Is there a secret to Midnight Mare’s outstanding race performances?
He wanted to hide his injury from his teammates so he could stay on the playing team.
I don’t remember the rules for hopscotch, but I remember that we had to hop from one number to another.
Melinda has expressed her wishes to wrestle with the boys, but the federation forbade it.
Playing martial arts isn’t about winning fights but developing discipline, integrity, and a strong mindset.
Shihan was glad he lost the first fight against a much larger opponent without injury.
Business Action Words
Business action words often occur in an office, establishment, or other similar areas.
I didn’t know this type of work was as simple as copying and pasting text from one document to another.
Fiona had gone out to submit her transfer request earlier this morning.
I didn’t file for leave last year because my boss disapproved of them.
You could encode your data faster if you only learned the proper hand positions.
Brianna prepared and successfully delivered a beautiful speech during the meeting.
Your team leader will represent your department in the forthcoming nationwide company event.
Have you tried managing an office full of frustrated actors and ex-convicts?
Aaron wanted to sell the homemade jam to his coworkers to earn extra money.
As an office manager, one of your jobs is to guide and train fresh recruits.
Our neighbors called an expert plumber to repair their piping last week.
We’ve published several different resources like these for writers. Check out our list of the best question words.