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actuate

play
verb ac·tu·ate \ˈak-chə-ˌwāt, -shə-\

Simple Definition of actuate

  • : to make (a machine or electrical device) move or operate

  • : to cause someone to do something or to act in a certain way

Full Definition of actuate

ac·tu·at·edac·tu·at·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to put into mechanical action or motion

  3. 2 :  to move to action

ac·tu·a·tionplay \ˌak-chə-ˈwā-shən, -shə-\ noun

Examples of actuate

  1. The pump is actuated by the windmill.

  2. <a light actuated by a motion detector>



Origin of actuate

Medieval Latin actuatus, past participle of actuare to execute, from Latin actus act


First Known Use: 1645

Synonym Discussion of actuate

move, actuate, drive, impel mean to set or keep in motion. move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position <moved the furniture>. actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion <turbines actuated by waterpower>. drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus <a ship driven aground by hurricane winds>. impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus <a candidate impelled by ambition>.

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

Rhymes with actuate

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