- 1actuate something to make a machine or device start to work synonym activate The timer must have been actuated by radio control.
- 2[usually passive] actuate somebody to make someone behave in a particular way synonym motivate He was actuated entirely by malice.
NAmE//ˈæktʃuˌeɪt//(formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they actuate
he / she / it actuates
past simple actuated
-ing form actuating