Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

actuate

[ak-choo-eyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ac·tu·at·ed, ac·tu·at·ing.
  1. to incite or move to action; impel; motivate: actuated by selfish motives.
  2. to put into action; start a process; turn on: to actuate a machine.

Origin of actuate

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin āctuāt(us) reduced to action (past participle of āctuāre), equivalent to Latin āctu(s) (see act) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsac·tu·a·tion, nounde·ac·tu·ate, verb (used with object), de·ac·tu·at·ed, de·ac·tu·at·ing.self-ac·tu·at·ing, adjectiveun·ac·tu·at·ed, adjective
Can be confusedactivate actuate stimulate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for actuated

Historical Examples

  • The windlasses that lift the bridge are actuated by manual power.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885

    Various

  • Yes, for I know you have never been actuated by self-interest.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Quesnay replied, "I am very far from believing him to be actuated by bad intentions, Madame; he loves the King and the people."

    The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete

    Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe

  • We are not for a moment to consider Cesare as actuated in all this by any lofty humanitarianism.

  • In this he was actuated by a sense of duty; he had to look after Stein's business, he said.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for actuated

actuate

verb (tr)
  1. to put into action or mechanical motion
  2. to motivate or incite into actionactuated by unworthy desires
Derived Formsactuation, nounactuator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin actuātus, from actuāre to incite to action, from Latin āctus act
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for actuated

actuate

v.

1590s, from Medieval Latin actuatus, past participle of actuare, from Latin actus (see act (n.)). Related: Actuated; actuating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper