Price Action Trading Glossary – Terms, Definition And Terminology

Welcome to the Price Action Trading Glossary! 

In this guide and Price Action Trading Glossary, we’ll unlock the secrets behind terms like “pin bars,” “engulfing patterns,” and “support and resistance,” helping you decode price action glossary. Read more about glossary of terms for price action trading

Whether you’re a curious newcomer eager to explore Price Action or a seasoned pro looking to refine your skills, you hopefully learn something new in our glossary. Discover decode market sentiment, and gain a profound understanding of trading! 

Price action trading is an approach where traders analyze price movements and patterns on charts without using traditional indicators. They focus on understanding support and resistance levels, candlestick patterns, trends, and price patterns to make trading decisions.

It’s an approach used for day trading, swing trading, and long-term investing, emphasizing risk management and market psychology. Price action traders do not rely on technical indicators and instead use historical price data to inform their trading choices.

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Ascending Triangle (definition): An ascending triangle is a bullish continuation pattern in technical analysis. It forms when the price of an asset moves within the confines of two trendlines, with the bottom trendline being horizontal and the upper trendline sloping upwards. This pattern suggests that buyers are gradually gaining control, and a breakout to the upside is anticipated.


Backtesting (complete definition): Backtesting is a crucial concept in the realm of price action trading. It refers to the meticulous process of assessing the viability and effectiveness of a trading strategy by applying it retrospectively to historical price data. Traders use backtesting to gauge how their strategies would have performed in past market conditions. This analysis helps traders refine their approaches and optimize parameters. It serves as a vital tool for enhancing trading precision and minimizing potential risks by learning from past price movements and patterns.

Bearish: In a bearish market sentiment, traders anticipate that the price of an asset will decline. This sentiment is often associated with pessimism, as traders believe that selling pressure will outweigh buying interest. Bearish traders typically take short positions or sell assets they don’t own with the expectation of profiting from falling prices. Bearish signals may include declining price patterns, fundamental weaknesses, or negative news events affecting the asset.

Breakout Trading (complete definition): A breakout refers to a significant price movement where the asset’s price moves beyond a well-defined level of support or resistance. Breakouts often occur with increased trading volume and can signal potential trend reversals or continuations. Traders pay close attention to breakouts as they can provide valuable entry or exit points for positions. Breakouts can occur in various forms, such as bullish breakouts (prices moving above resistance) or bearish breakouts (prices moving below support).

Bullish: In contrast to bearish sentiment, being bullish means that traders expect the price of an asset to rise. This positive outlook is typically driven by optimism, with traders buying or taking long positions in anticipation of profiting from price increases. Bullish signals may emerge from strong fundamental data, positive news, or technical indicators suggesting upward momentum. Bullish market participants aim to benefit from rising prices by purchasing assets at lower levels and selling them at higher prices.


Candlestick Patterns: (complete definition) Candlestick patterns are graphical representations of price movements on a trading chart. Traders use them to analyze and predict market trends and reversals. Each candlestick consists of a “body” and “wicks” (or shadows). The body represents the price range between the opening and closing prices for a specific time period, while the wicks show the high and low prices during that time. Candlestick patterns come in various forms, such as doji, hammer, shooting star, engulfing patterns, and more. These patterns provide valuable insights into market sentiment and potential price action. opportunities.

Consolidation: Consolidation refers to a phase in price action where an asset’s price moves within a relatively narrow range. During consolidation, traders often observe reduced volatility and uncertainty in the market. Consolidation can occur after a strong price move and signals a temporary pause in the prevailing trend. Traders monitor consolidation patterns closely, as they can lead to significant breakouts or reversals when the market decides on the next direction.


Doji: A doji is a specific candlestick pattern characterized by a small or nonexistent body with long upper and lower wicks. It signifies indecision and uncertainty in the market. A doji occurs when the opening and closing prices for a specific time period are very close or nearly identical. Traders interpret a doji as a potential reversal signal, especially when it appears after a prolonged trend. It suggests that neither buyers nor sellers have taken control, and the market is at a crossroads.

Double Top and Double Bottom: Double top and double bottom patterns are classic reversal patterns found on price charts. A double top pattern forms after a strong uptrend and consists of two peaks at approximately the same price level, separated by a trough. It suggests a potential trend reversal from bullish to bearish. Conversely, a double bottom pattern forms after a downtrend and features two price troughs at nearly the same level, separated by a peak. This pattern indicates a potential reversal from bearish to bullish. Traders use these patterns to anticipate changes in market direction.


Engulfing Pattern: (complete definition) An engulfing pattern is a candlestick pattern where one candlestick (the “engulfing” one) completely engulfs the body of the previous candlestick. There are two types: bullish engulfing and bearish engulfing. A bullish engulfing pattern occurs when a bullish candlestick fully covers the preceding bearish candlestick, signaling potential upward momentum. Conversely, a bearish engulfing pattern occurs when a bearish candlestick entirely engulfs the previous bullish one, suggesting potential downward pressure. Engulfing patterns are seen as strong reversal or continuation signals depending on their context within a price chart.

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False Breakout: (definition) A false breakout occurs when the price of an asset briefly moves beyond a significant support or resistance level but then quickly reverses, returning within the previous price range. False breakouts are frustrating for traders as they can lead to losses for those who entered positions based on the breakout signal. They often result from market manipulation or a lack of sustained buying or selling pressure beyond the breakout point.

Fibonacci Retracement: (definition) Fibonacci retracement is a widely used technical analysis tool that involves plotting horizontal lines on a price chart based on key Fibonacci ratios, particularly 38.2%, 50%, and 61.8%. These levels represent potential support or resistance zones where price retracements are likely to occur during a trend. Traders use Fibonacci retracement levels to identify entry and exit points, as well as to gauge the strength of a trend. The tool is based on the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones.


Gap: In price action trading, a gap refers to a significant difference between the closing price of one trading session and the opening price of the next session. Gaps can be either upward (bullish gap) or downward (bearish gap) and often indicate a sudden and significant change in market sentiment or a lack of trading activity during the period of the gap. Traders often analyze gaps to make trading decisions.


Head and Shoulders Pattern: (complete definition) The head and shoulders pattern is a classic reversal pattern that resembles the shape of a person’s head and shoulders on a price chart. It consists of three peaks: a higher peak (the head) between two lower peaks (the shoulders). The pattern typically forms after an uptrend and signals a potential trend reversal from bullish to bearish. The neckline, a support level, connects the lows of the two shoulders. A breakdown below the neckline confirms the pattern and may trigger selling pressure. Conversely, an inverse head and shoulders pattern signals a potential bullish reversal.


Inside Bar: An inside bar is a candlestick pattern that occurs when the entire price range (high to low) of one candlestick is contained within the range of the previous candlestick. Inside bars represent a period of consolidation and reduced volatility in the market. Traders often interpret them as potential breakout signals. A breakout above the high or below the low of the inside bar can indicate the resumption of the prevailing trend or a reversal.


Japanese Candlestick: Japanese candlesticks are a popular method of charting price movements in financial markets. They provide visual representations of price action over a specific time period, typically in the form of candlestick patterns, which traders use to analyze and make trading decisions. Japanese candlestick charts display the open, high, low, and close prices for a given time frame, making it easier to identify trends, reversals, and potential entry or exit points in the market.


Kicker Pattern: A candlestick pattern in price action trading that consists of two consecutive candles with opposite colors (e.g., one bullish and one bearish). The second candle completely engulfs or “kicks” the previous candle, indicating a potential reversal or significant change in market sentiment. The kicker pattern is often used by traders to identify strong shifts in price direction.


Liquidity: Liquidity in the context of price action trading refers to how easily and quickly an asset can be bought or sold without significantly affecting its price. High liquidity means there are many buyers and sellers, making it easier to enter or exit a trade without substantial price slippage, while low liquidity implies fewer participants, potentially leading to larger price swings when trading. Understanding liquidity is essential for effective price action analysis and trade execution.


Momentum (complete definition): Momentum refers to the rate of change in an asset’s price. Traders and investors use momentum indicators to assess the strength and direction of a trend. High positive momentum suggests strong buying interest, while negative momentum indicates strong selling pressure. Momentum indicators can help traders identify potential entry and exit points, as well as gauge the likelihood of trend continuation or reversal.

Moving Average (complete definition): Moving Average (MA): A key technical analysis tool in price action trading, a Moving Average is a smoothed line representing the average price of an asset over a specified period. It helps traders identify trends, support, and resistance levels by reducing price noise. Common types include Simple Moving Average (SMA) and Exponential Moving Average (EMA). MAs provide insight into an asset’s direction and potential entry or exit points for traders seeking to make decisions based on historical price data.


Neutral Bar: In price action trading, a neutral bar refers to a candlestick or price bar that has a very small range and indicates indecision or a lack of significant buying or selling pressure in the market. Neutral bars often have small bodies and may have long upper and lower wicks, suggesting that neither bulls nor bears are in control during that particular period. Traders often interpret neutral bars as a sign that the market is consolidating or uncertain about its next direction.

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Optimizing Trading Strategies (complete definition): Optimizing Trading Strategies refers to the process of fine-tuning and enhancing trading approaches based on historical price action data. Traders use various techniques, such as parameter adjustments or algorithmic adjustments, to maximize profitability while minimizing risk. The goal is to identify the most effective settings and rules to improve trading performance within a given market environment.

Opening Gap (complete definition): An “Opening Gap” in price action refers to the significant difference between the opening price of a financial asset (such as a stock or currency pair) and the closing price from the previous trading session. Gaps can be categorized into three types: “Upward Gap” (opening higher than the previous close), “Downward Gap” (opening lower than the previous close), and “Exhaustion Gap” (signaling a potential reversal). These gaps often indicate abrupt shifts in market sentiment, presenting opportunities and risks for traders and investors.


Pin Bar: A pin bar, short for “pinocchio bar,” is a candlestick pattern characterized by a small body and a long tail or wick extending either above or below the body. The tail represents a sharp price reversal from the opening or closing price. A bullish pin bar forms when the tail is below the body, suggesting potential upward momentum. Conversely, a bearish pin bar occurs when the tail is above the body, signaling potential downward pressure. Traders often view pin bars as reversal signals and use them to make trading decisions.

Pinocchio bar: A “Pinocchio Bar” in price action refers to a single candlestick pattern that signifies a potential reversal in the market. It consists of a long candlestick with a small body and a long wick extending in one direction. The wick represents a false move, like Pinocchio’s long nose when he lied. A Pinocchio Bar suggests that market sentiment is deceiving, and traders should be cautious, as a reversal might be imminent.

Price Action: Price action refers to the study and interpretation of a financial asset’s price movement on a chart, often without relying on traditional technical indicators or fundamental analysis. Traders and investors who use price action analyze patterns, trends, support and resistance levels, and key price levels to make trading decisions. This approach emphasizes the importance of past price movements and their impact on future price direction, aiming to uncover potential trading opportunities based solely on the historical behavior of the asset’s price.



A quintile in the context of price action refers to a statistical division of a data set into five equal parts, each representing 20% of the total observations. It is commonly used to analyze and compare the distribution of price levels or returns within a financial market, helping traders and investors identify patterns, trends, or outliers in market data.


Risk Management (complete definition): Risk Management in price action trading refers to the systematic process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential financial losses associated with market fluctuations. It involves implementing strategies and tools, such as stop-loss orders and position sizing, to protect capital and minimize the impact of adverse price movements while maximizing potential gains. Effective risk management is crucial for preserving trading capital and achieving long-term profitability in the financial markets.

Runaway Gaps (complete definition): Runaway gaps are gaps in price charts that occur during a strong and established trend. These gaps signify a continuation of the prevailing trend, indicating increased momentum and investor confidence. They typically suggest that the price is likely to move further in the same direction as the trend, without immediate retracement. Runaway gaps are often seen as a bullish or bearish signal, depending on whether they appear in an uptrend or downtrend, and can be important for traders analyzing price action patterns.


Survivorship Bias (complete definition): In price action analysis, survivorship bias refers to the tendency to focus solely on successful or surviving assets or strategies while ignoring those that failed or became extinct. This bias can distort the perception of historical performance, leading traders and investors to overestimate the effectiveness of certain approaches, as it omits the crucial data from unsuccessful ones. To make quality decisions, it is essential to consider both surviving and non-surviving examples in the analysis.

Short Selling (complete definition): Short Selling is a trading strategy in which an investor borrows and sells an asset (like stocks) they don’t own, anticipating its price will decrease. They aim to profit by repurchasing the asset at a lower price to return it to the lender, pocketing the difference as gains. This tactic allows traders to profit from falling market prices and is inherently speculative, involving higher risk and potential for losses compared to traditional long positions.


Technical Analysis (complete definition): Technical Analysis is a method of evaluating financial markets and assets by analyzing historical price charts, volume, and various technical indicators. It aims to forecast future price movements by identifying patterns, trends, support and resistance levels, and other quantitative data, without considering fundamental factors. Traders and investors use Technical Analysis about buying or selling assets, relying on past price behavior to predict potential future price action.

Trading Strategy (complete definition): A trading strategy in the context of price action refers to a systematic approach used by traders to make decisions about buying or selling financial assets based on the analysis of historical price movements and chart patterns. It involves identifying key support and resistance levels, trend analysis, and utilizing candlestick patterns to determine entry and exit points, ultimately aiming to capitalize on price fluctuations in financial markets.


Unfilled Gap (complete definition): An “Unfilled Gap” in price action refers to a situation where a significant price difference exists between the closing price of a financial instrument (such as a stock or currency pair) on one trading day and the opening price on the following day, but there has been no trading activity within that price range during the gap. This gap typically indicates a sudden and substantial shift in market sentiment or supply and demand dynamics, potentially serving as a significant support or resistance level in future price movements.


Volatility (complete definition): Volatility refers to the degree of variation or fluctuation in the price of a financial asset over a specific period of time. It measures the level of uncertainty and risk associated with an asset’s value, with higher volatility indicating more significant price swings. Traders and investors often use volatility as a key factor in assessing market conditions and making decisions, as it can impact trading strategies and risk management.


Whipsaw: Whipsaw refers to a situation in price action trading where a security or asset’s price rapidly moves in one direction and then reverses sharply in the opposite direction, causing traders who entered positions to incur losses. Whipsaws are characterized by sudden and volatile price fluctuations that can be challenging to predict or navigate. Traders often use technical analysis tools and risk management strategies to mitigate the impact of whipsaw movements in the market.


X-axis: The X-axis in price action refers to the horizontal axis of a price chart, typically representing time. It displays chronological data, with each point on the X-axis corresponding to a specific period, such as minutes, hours, days, or months, depending on the chart’s timeframe. Traders use the X-axis to analyze historical price movements and identify patterns or trends over time.

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Yield: In price action trading, “yield” refers to the return or profit generated from a particular trade or investment. It represents the percentage gain or loss on an investment relative to its initial cost or capital. Yield can be an important metric for traders and investors to assess the performance of their trades.


Zero-sum game: A “zero-sum game” in the context of price action refers to a situation in trading or investing where one participant’s gain is precisely offset by another participant’s loss. In other words, the total gains and losses within this scenario sum up to zero, highlighting the competitive nature of financial markets where one trader’s profit comes at the expense of another’s loss, making it a balanced, win-lose dynamic.


This Price Action Trading Glossary provides a comprehensive overview of key terms and concepts related to price action trading. Whether you are a beginner seeking to learn the basics or an experienced trader looking to enhance your skills, this glossary offers valuable insights into the world of price action analysis. Understanding these terms, from candlestick patterns and support and resistance to risk management and technical analysis, is essential for making informed trading decisions and navigating the complexities of the financial markets. We hope that you find this resource valuable in your journey to decode market sentiment and gain a deeper understanding of trading.