actuate

[ak-choo-eyt]

verb (used with object), ac·tu·at·ed, ac·tu·at·ing.

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 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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for self-actuating

actuate

verb (tr)

to put into action or mechanical motion
to motivate or incite into actionactuated by unworthy desires
Derived Formsactuation, nounactuator, noun

Word Origin for actuate

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 self-actuating

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