activate

[ ak-tuh-veyt ]
/ ˈæk təˌveɪt /

verb (used with object), ac·ti·vat·ed, ac·ti·vat·ing.

to make active; cause to function or act.
Physics.
  1. to render more reactive; excite: to activate a molecule.
  2. to induce radioactivity.
to aerate (sewage) in order to accelerate decomposition of impure organic matter by microorganisms.
Chemistry.
  1. to make (carbon, a catalyst, molecules, etc.) more active.
  2. to hasten (reactions) by various means, as heating.
to place (a military unit or station) on an active status in an assigned capacity.

Origin of activate

First recorded in 1620–30; active + -ate1

SYNONYMS FOR activate

1 actuate, start, turn on, set going.

OTHER WORDS FROM activate

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH activate

activate actuate stimulate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for activate

British Dictionary definitions for activate

activate
/ (ˈæktɪˌveɪt) /

verb (tr)

to make active or capable of action
physics to make radioactive
chem
  1. to increase the rate of (a reaction)
  2. to treat (a substance, such as carbon or alumina) so as to increase powers of adsorption
physiol to prepare by arousal (the body or one of its organs (e.g. the brain)) for action
to purify (sewage) by aeration
US military to create, mobilize, or organize (a unit)

Derived forms of activate

activation, nounactivator, noun
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