Definition of out of action in English:

out of action


  • Temporarily unable to work or function.

    ‘a heart attack put him out of action’
    • ‘Pastor Roe said that the toilets had been out of action since February.’
    • ‘He was out of action for a year and was eventually forced to retire.’
    • ‘He was out of action for six months, although the initial diagnosis was for much longer, and on crutches for two.’
    • ‘CAN I apologise for the fact that my e-mail has been out of action for the past few weeks due to a technical hitch.’
    • ‘He signed for them at the start of the season but has been out of action since sustaining a broken leg in a pre-season friendly.’
    • ‘He lives on the top floor and said one lift has been out of action for more than eight weeks, and the other takes users to the wrong floor.’
    • ‘Questions have to be asked, including why the CCTV cameras on the ward were out of action.’
    • ‘Gashes and knocks that would put a professional footballer out of action for weeks tend to be shrugged off.’
    • ‘They managed to release the lift, but it has since been out of action.’
    • ‘The electricity failure kept the phones and most of the lighting out of action for more than three hours.’
    • ‘It put one of the runways out of action for 15 minutes, disrupting incoming and departing flights.’
    • ‘The 31-year-old is currently out of action with a broken arm but will be back in a month's time.’
    • ‘And why was a security camera monitoring the prison yard mysteriously out of action?’
    • ‘Traffic lights were temporarily out of action, although there were no reports of accidents.’
    • ‘Malt attacked from the restart and, with Cooke temporarily out of action, Will Barber booted a penalty.’
    • ‘The centre also paid for engineering work on the ship's main generator which was out of action.’
    • ‘Anyway, with my arm more or less out of action, and the pain, lack of sleep, etc, I've not been to work yet this week.’
    • ‘A subsequent operation kept him out of action for four months and even he came back too soon.’
    • ‘Her problems were made worse by the fact that the lift was temporarily out of action.’
    • ‘She estimates the shop will be out of action for several weeks while repairs are carried out and replacement stock is ordered.’
    not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of order, out of service, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, in disrepair
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