Definition of actuate in English:


Line breaks: ac¦tu|ate
Pronunciation: /ˈaktʃʊeɪt
, -tjʊ-/


  • 2Make (someone) act in a particular way; motivate: the defendants were actuated by malice
    More example sentences
    • On appeal to the Court of Appeal, the defendant successfully argued that his belief that everything he said was true made it impossible as a matter of law to find that he was actuated by malice.
    • That he served with Kennedy's example in mind indicates he was actuated more by self-aggrandisement than altruism.
    • Here I want to clear one thing, that it is not vanity that has actuated me to adopt the doctrines of atheism.
    motivate, stimulate, move, drive, rouse, stir, stir up, fire, fire up, arouse; prompt, incite, spark off, influence, impel, spur on, urge, goad
    rare activate



Pronunciation: /-ˈeɪʃ(ə)n/
More example sentences
  • After initiating brake actuation, the aircraft yawed to the right, and he ceased braking action to analyze the situation.
  • A number of other options are coming down the line, including voice actuation of some of the ancillary controls, mostly communication-related.
  • One and four actuations of each inhaler were evaluated.


More example sentences
  • The 1 million-pound project is powered by electronic actuators, ensuring that visitors' experiences are as authentic as possible, as the motion follows the action on the screen.
  • The new simulator recreates the speed and force of an explosive shock wave using computer-controlled hydraulic actuators.
  • At the same time, the control system instantaneously commands the servos in the joint actuators to relax slightly.


late 16th century: from medieval Latin actuat- 'carried out, caused to operate', from the verb actuare, from Latin actus (see act). The original sense was 'carry out in practice', later 'stir into activity, enliven'; sense 1 dates from the mid 17th century.

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