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[ak-choo-eyt] /ˈæk tʃuˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), actuated, actuating.
to incite or move to action; impel; motivate:
actuated by selfish motives.
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 forms
actuation, noun
deactuate, verb (used with object), deactuated, deactuating.
self-actuating, adjective
unactuated, adjective
Can be confused
activate, actuate, stimulate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for actuated
Historical Examples
  • The windlasses that lift the bridge are actuated by manual power.

  • 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.

    The Life of Cesare Borgia Raphael Sabatini
  • In this he was actuated by a sense of duty; he had to look after Stein's business, he said.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • But how shall I convince you that I am actuated by love and not by complaisance?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • As soon as it was that far from any part of his body it would be actuated.

    The K-Factor Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
  • That he preferred the dock was proof of the strength of the motive which actuated him.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • She was actuated by a brave motive, and has done a splendid work.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • We are all actuated, I hope, by one view, but we differ in the means.

British Dictionary definitions for actuated


verb (transitive)
to put into action or mechanical motion
to motivate or incite into action: actuated by unworthy desires
Derived Forms
actuation, noun
actuator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin actuātus, from actuāre to incite to action, from Latin āctusact
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
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Word Origin and History for actuated



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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