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activate

[ ak-tuh-veyt ]
/ ˈæk təˌveɪt /
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See synonyms for: activate / activated / activating / activation on Thesaurus.com

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.

SYNONYMS FOR activate

1 actuate, start, turn on, set going.

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Origin of activate

First recorded in 1620–30; active + -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM activate

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH activate

1. activate , actuate2. activate , stimulate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use activate in a sentence

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
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