[ ak-choo-eyt ]
See synonyms for: actuateactuation on

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

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Medieval Latin āctuāt(us) “reduced to action” (past participle of āctuāre ), equivalent to Latin āctu(s) (see act) + -ātus -ate1

Other words from actuate

  • ac·tu·a·tion [ak-choo-ey-shuhn], /ˌæk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən/, noun
  • de·ac·tu·ate, verb (used with object), de·ac·tu·at·ed, de·ac·tu·at·ing.
  • self-ac·tu·at·ing, adjective
  • un·ac·tu·at·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with actuate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use actuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for actuate


/ (ˈæktʃʊˌeɪt) /

  1. to put into action or mechanical motion

  2. to motivate or incite into action: actuated by unworthy desires

Origin of actuate

C16: from Medieval Latin actuātus, from actuāre to incite to action, from Latin āctus act

Derived forms of actuate

  • actuation, noun
  • actuator, 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