Definition of activate
: to make active or more active: as a (1) : to make (as molecules) reactive or more reactive (2) : to convert (as a provitamin) into a biologically active derivative b : to make (a substance) radioactive c : to treat (as carbon or alumina) so as to improve adsorptive properties d (1) : to set up or formally institute (as a military unit) with the necessary personnel and equipment (2) : to put (an individual or unit) on active duty
: to become active
Examples of activate in a sentence
Touch the screen to activate the system.
activate and then deactivate a mechanism
The camera is activated by pushing a button.
The bomb was activated by remote control.
Sunlight activates a chemical reaction in the plant's leaves.
vitamins that activate the growth of new cells
The President has activated the reserves.
First Known Use of activate
Rhymes with activate
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ACTIVATE Defined for Kids
Definition of activate for Students
: to start working or cause to start working <Activate the alarm.>
Medical Definition of activate
: to make active or more active: asa: to convert into a biologically active derivative or form <activated plasminogen>b: to make biologically or molecularly active <activate protein synthesis> <The [spinal] cord also contains neuronal circuits …that can be activated by incoming sensory signals without input from the brain …—John W. McDonald et al., Scientific American, September 1999>c: to make (a substance) radioactive
Seen and Heard
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