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I have a question about the usage of the transitive phrase "bring... into action" in this news article:

The eight Mk3 helicopters, which have never flown, cost £32 million each. They were designed to be used by Special Forces but were never brought into action because of concerns about their safety.

I cannot find the phrase "bring...into action" in dictionaries. According to this dictionary definition, intransitive phrases like:

--leap into action
--spring into action
--swing into action

are more common.

So, is the "bring...into action" pattern in the new article wrong?

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  • 1
    No, it is not wrong. Sep 18, 2016 at 16:50
  • When you use Google ngram to search for a phrase there will be links to attestations at the bottom of the results page. google.com/… Sep 18, 2016 at 17:03

1 Answer 1

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"Bring into action" is not a set phrase, it is just literal with "bring" meaning "cause, result in a state or condition":

Bring:

  • to cause, result in, or produce a state or condition:

    • Bring the water to the boil (= make it start boiling). She suddenly brought the interview to an end. Her tragic story brought tears to my eyes (= made me cry). What will the future bring for these refugees?

(Cambridge Dictionary)

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