80+ List of Action Words To Describe Daily Activities

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

List of action words
Click InstalledSnore

Physical Action Words

List of Action Words: Physical action words
Draw is one of the action words that have a very physical aspect

These action words have a very physical aspect. Writers use them to describe small and large actions. 

  1. Arrange
    The librarian would tirelessly arrange all the books to match her standards. 
  1. Draw
    In the old days in Africa, women went to the river to draw water for their families. 
  1. Enter
    Pests can easily enter your house if you don’t seal the windows and doors properly. 
  1. Slept
    Some of my best memories of my cats were when they slept on my lap while I worked.
  1. Touch
    When you’re visually challenged, the tricky part about having a touch phone is knowing where to press it. 
  1. Run
    Depending on how many apps your phone needs to run, it can lag or shut down entirely. 
  1. Wear
    Shania doesn’t wear wool sweaters because she has very sensitive skin.
  1. Bike
    The kids will bike through here on weekends and evenings.
  1. Hug
    Tristana gave little Lulu a warm hug and Teemo a scathing look. 
  1. Snore
    You may loudly snore because you sleep on your back, so try sleeping sideways.
  1. Dance
    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. 

  1. Decide
    Realtors won’t bother you for a few days to give you time to decide
  1. Fear
    The tricky part about studying an uncommon fear like thalassophobia is that you can’t find statistics about it. 
  1. Love
    All Shiloh ever wanted was to feel her mother’s love
  1. Remember
    Does anybody remember that weird and funny anime about personified countries being friends and enemies simultaneously?
  1. Surprise
    In our country, surprise birthday parties are considered rude if not everyone in the family gets one.
  1. Understood
    Our teacher wanted to teach us a lesson about kindness, but the message we understood was that money is power. 
  1. Think
    Do you think the boys will see The Devil Wears Prada as a psychological thriller as we do?
  1. Promise
    A church marriage is a sacred promise between a man and a woman. 
  1. Dislike
    I don’t dislike him for his personality, but I hate the agenda he’s pushing toward me. 
  1. Forgotten
    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. 
  1. Perceived
    The other cats perceived Grizabella as a washed-out glamour cat that left their community for fame. 
  1. Count
    Annie will say, “let’s count to five,” referencing her passive that can stun targets at the fifth use of her abilities. 
  1. Pretend
    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. 
  1. Learn
    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. 

  1. Meow
    In Barbie: The Princess and the Pauper, one of the cats, would bark instead of meow
  1. Holler
    I heard that it’s tradition and common practice to holler “timber” when lumberjacks cut down a tree.
  1. Whistle
    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. 
  1. Humming
    The worst thing I heard at night was a lady humming from my hallway when I was alone.
  1. Whisper
    Selena would always whisper endearing words to her daughter as she kissed her goodnight. 
  1. Click 

You can click your tongue in different ways by positioning the organ against different parts of the palate. 

  1. Bang
    Mr. Walt shared how five different kids have asked him if the Big Bang created a loud bang
  1. Tweets
    Hearing the lively tweets of birds in the mornings is always a refreshing way to start your day. 
  1. Clap
    We saw the lightning first and heard the loud clap of thunder two and a half seconds later. 
  1. Buzzing
    The man found it difficult to sleep with the constant buzzing of mosquitos in his ear. 
  1. Booed
    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. 

  1. Punch
    The neighbors often saw the woman punch her male companion, both jokingly and seriously. 
  1. Argued
    Helen’s parents often argued loudly during her childhood, causing her to become loud and argumentative. 
  1. Rampage
    The storm’s rampage caused mud floods and destroyed property in the small town of Banaue, Ifugao. 
  1. Kick
    He knew we couldn’t kick him out of the team because of his skill, which only made him more arrogant. 
  1. Thrashed
    My brother’s favorite part of the movie was when King Kong thrashed around New York and climbed up the Empire State Building. 
  1. Brawls
    Many young men still join bar brawls, thinking it makes them look powerful and irresistible to women. 
  1. Shot
    Harambe held no hostility in its facial expressions or body language, but they shot him anyway. 
  1. Devour
    Gracie’s biggest contender against Gordon Ryan was Pedro Marino, but watching the match was like watching a tiger devour a kitten. 
  1. Scrimmages
    Being a wrestler and former professional football player, Roman Reigns is no stranger to scrimmages
  1. Uncoiling
    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

  1. Build
    A big advantage of being an engineer is that you can build your own house and save on labor costs. 
  1. Invented
    If you invented this machine, can you tell us how it works? 
  1. Design
    My aunt loves to design fashionable clothes, but my grandmother wanted her to become a nurse. 
  1. Installed
    The building mechanic expertly installed our air conditioning unit and even shared some AC maintenance tips. 
  1. Create
    How many layers did she use to create that strawberry shortcake? 
  1. Innovated
    Almost no idea is original anymore, so I innovated something new out of what’s already available. 
  1. Concocted
    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the drink Kenny concocted was tacky and overused. 
  1. Produced
    Twin Electronics is proud to report that we’ve produced and sold over 1.5 million gaming units this year alone. 
  1. Hatch
    The thieves will hatch one of the best heists but fail to make a Plan B. 
  1. Write
    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. 

  1. Chase
    We only allow the children to chase each other around the playground between 9 AM and 10:30 AM. 
  1. Duck
    When the machine whirls its giant arm into you, you must duck or risk falling into the pit. 
  1. Playing
    Lizzie never tired of playing board games and tabletop games with her children, enhancing their imaginations and family bonds. 
  1. Participate
    Mikey and Nikki wanted to participate in this year’s online tournament but couldn’t because of the slow internet. 
  1. Hunt
    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. 
  1. Race
    Is there a secret to Midnight Mare’s outstanding race performances?
  1. Hide
    He wanted to hide his injury from his teammates so he could stay on the playing team. 
  1. Hop
    I don’t remember the rules for hopscotch, but I remember that we had to hop from one number to another. 
  1. Wrestle
    Melinda has expressed her wishes to wrestle with the boys, but the federation forbade it. 
  1. Winning:
    Playing martial arts isn’t about winning fights but developing discipline, integrity, and a strong mindset. 
  1. Lost
    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. 

  1. Copying
    I didn’t know this type of work was as simple as copying and pasting text from one document to another. 
  1. Submit
    Fiona had gone out to submit her transfer request earlier this morning. 
  1. File
    I didn’t file for leave last year because my boss disapproved of them. 
  1. Encode
    You could encode your data faster if you only learned the proper hand positions. 
  1. Delivered
    Brianna prepared and successfully delivered a beautiful speech during the meeting.
  1. Represent
    Your team leader will represent your department in the forthcoming nationwide company event. 
  1. Manage
    Have you tried managing an office full of frustrated actors and ex-convicts? 
  1. Sell
    Aaron wanted to sell the homemade jam to his coworkers to earn extra money.  
  1. Train
    As an office manager, one of your jobs is to guide and train fresh recruits. 
  1. Repair
    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.


  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.