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I'm looking for a single word which means "a well thought out action".

In other words, if someone were to plan something carefully, and act on that plan.

For example, a general faces an intractable foe on the battlefield, but thinks carefully on the solution and then acts - defeating the opponent easily. What could we call the action?

N.B. While interesting, I'm not really looking for words which imply "underhanded" or "risky".

  • 1
    Could you provide more context around your intended use of the term you seek? – Charon Feb 20 '16 at 17:24
  • 1
    A strategy? Context, please. Context. – user140086 Feb 20 '16 at 17:25
  • For example, a general faces an intractable foe on the battlefield, but thinks carefully on the solution and then acts - defeating the opponent easily. What could we call the action? Sorry if this is still vague. – Thve Feb 20 '16 at 17:48
  • I wonder whether the question is clear, because nearly all of the answers so far are not actions, but the first line clearly calls for a kind of action. The last line combined with the first, however, suggests that the action needs to be considered and either underhanded or risky. – Drew Feb 21 '16 at 2:31
  • I added the note later, but many of the answers are close to what I'm looking for. – Thve Feb 21 '16 at 5:26
4

Stratagem:

an artifice or trick in war for deceiving and outwitting the enemy.

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

2

Strategy

A careful plan or method.

Another option:

Gambit

A planned series of moves at the open of a chess game

A calculated remark intended to start a conversation or make a point

A calculated move

(Definitions from Merriam Webster)

Edit: adding another

Rout

An overwhelming defeat - or to defeat overwhelmingly

  • Gambit implies an element of risk that is missing from the desired definition. Most gambits in chess are technically unsound or speculative. – Lepidopterist Feb 20 '16 at 19:13
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    None of those are actions. – Drew Feb 21 '16 at 2:28
  • Rout is a verb in the 'defeat overwhelmingly' definition. More clarification might be needed to determine whether OP wants a word meaning ' action' or an actual verb. – Jesse M Feb 21 '16 at 2:43
1

Consider maneuver:

A planned and regulated action (often military);an adroit move, skillful proceeding, etc., especially as characterized by craftiness;

1

tactic

An action calculated to achieve an end. FOD

An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end. ODO

An action or method that is planned and used to achieve a particular goal. M-W

0

Methodical might work:

methodical

adjective me·thod·i·cal \mə-ˈthä-di-kəl\

: done by using a careful and organized procedure

: working in a very careful and organized way

  • It's not an action. – Drew Feb 21 '16 at 2:28
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A single word which means: a well thought out action carefully planed and then acted upon, culminating in an outcome, would be a resolution.

resolution, noun

the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. –Google

the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something | the act or process of resolving –MW

  • 1
    None of those are actions. – Drew Feb 21 '16 at 2:27
  • @Drew - Okay, let's try this one then. – Mazura Feb 21 '16 at 3:37
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Usually, when referring to the carrying-out of a complex plan, or series of actions, we use the word: implementation.

"The implementation of the final phase of 'Project Brainwash', must be seamless."

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