Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Actionable


Quick Summary of Actionable

Giving sufficient reason to take legal action.

What is the dictionary definition of Actionable?

Dictionary Definition

  1. legal Affording grounds for legal action.
  2. That can be acted on; that can be used as the basis for taking action.

adj. when enough facts or circumstances exist to meet the legal requirements to file a legitimate lawsuit. If the facts required to prove a case cannot be alleged in the complaint, the case is not “actionable” and the client and his/her attorney should not file a suit. Of course, whether many cases are actionable is a matter of judgment and interpretation of the facts and/or law, resulting in many lawsuits that clog the courts. Incidentally, if a case is filed which is clearly not actionable, it may result in a lawsuit against the filer of the original suit for malicious prosecution by the defendant after he/she has won the original suit.

Full Definition of Actionable

Giving sufficient legal grounds for a lawsuit; giving rise to a cause of action.

An act, event, or occurrence is said to be actionable when there are legal grounds for basing a lawsuit on it. For example, an assault is an actionable tort.

An act is ‘actionable’ if it is capable of being pursued as a legal action in the civil courts. Not all wrongs suffered by an individual are actionable. For example, if I were to visit your home while you were undergoing a debilitating emotional crisis, and I were to then persuade you to give me money so that I might leave, this blatant exploitation by me of your vulnerable state of mind would probably not be actionable. It would certainly be underhanded and immoral; but not every immoral act is thereby ‘actionable’.

Generally speaking, there is some vague correspondence between the terms ‘actionable’ and ‘unlawful’.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Actionable. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
September 26, 2023
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Actionable. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 26, 2023).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Actionable. Retrieved September 26, 2023
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Actionable are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 8th October, 2021 | 0 Views.