Definition of actuate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    actuate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪt//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they actuate
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪt//
     
    he / she / it actuates
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪts//
     
    past simple actuated
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪd//
     
    past participle actuated
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form actuating
    BrE BrE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæktʃueɪtɪŋ//
     
    Devices
     
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  1. 1actuate something to make a machine or device start to work synonym activate The timer must have been actuated by radio control. See related entries: Devices
  2. 2[usually passive] actuate somebody to make somebody behave in a particular way synonym motivate He was actuated entirely by malice.
  3. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from medieval Latin actuat- ‘carried out, caused to operate’, from the verb actuare, from Latin actus ‘event, thing done’, act- ‘done’, from the verb agere, reinforced by the French noun acte. The original sense was ‘carry out in practice’, later ‘stir into activity, enliven’; sense (1) dates from the mid 17th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: actuate