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actuate

[ak-choo-eyt]
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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
British Dictionary definitions for deactuate

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 deactuate

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