activate

verb
ac·ti·vate | \ˈak-tə-ˌvāt \
activated; activating

Definition of activate 

transitive verb

: to make active or more active: such as

a(1) : to make (something, such as a molecule) reactive or more reactive

(2) : to convert (something, such as a provitamin) into a biologically active derivative

b : to make (a substance) radioactive

c : to treat (a substance, such as carbon or alumina) so as to improve adsorptive properties

d(1) : to set up or formally institute (an organized group, such as a military unit) with the necessary personnel and equipment

(2) : to put (an individual or unit) on active duty

intransitive verb

: to become active

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Other Words from activate

activation \ˌak-tə-ˈvā-shən \ noun
activator \ˈak-tə-ˌvā-tər \ noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The troopers identified themselves by activating their emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop on Disbro, DPS said. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "DPS: Man impersonating officer arrested after attempting to pull over troopers," 12 July 2018 Triple-A Norfolk Infielder Steve Wilkerson, 26, hit his first Triple-A home run Thursday in his sixth game since being activated from the 50-game drug suspension that kept him on the shelf since spring training. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles minor league report: Steve Wilkerson returns from suspension," 9 June 2018 Hunter Renfroe had seven hits in 14 at-bats since being activated off the disabled list on May 28. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: outfield ideally crowded; Margot balling; Hedges close," 4 June 2018 In the past, the pop-up has found at home by activating a vacant storefront and taking place in the lobby of the Mount Pleasant NOW CDC. Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com, "Unity Rising Handmade Market brings makers to Buckeye Art & Soul Park," 8 May 2018 To make a report, victims or witnesses can approach bus drivers, who have received training on how to respond by activating an emergency-alarm system or using their radios to contact the agency’s dispatch center, Jutilla said. Jessica Lee, The Seattle Times, "After #MeToo movement, King County Metro Transit sees more reports of sexual misconduct," 26 Apr. 2018 This suggests that the gerbils could experience an accurate representation of loudness that is proportional to how strongly neurons are activated by light. Justin Chen, STAT, "Pulses of light restored hearing in gerbils. Could that lead to higher-tech cochlear implants?," 11 July 2018 Scientists are largely seeing earthquakes on unmapped faults that were activated in 2014 by wastewater injection, said state seismologist Jake Walter. Fox News, "Oklahoma sees more severe earthquakes, fewer overall," 7 July 2018 The couple settled in Central Florida and Temo was activated by his Marine Corps Reserve unit after Alejandra gave birth to their first child. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "U.S. Rep. Darren Soto's longshot tactic aims to stall deportation of undocumented wife of Polk County Marine veteran," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'activate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of activate

1624, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for activate

active entry 1 + -ate entry 4, probably as adaptation of French activer, going back to Middle French, derivative of actif active entry 1

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Statistics for activate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for activate

The first known use of activate was in 1624

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More Definitions for activate

activate

verb
ac·ti·vate | \ˈak-tə-ˌvāt \
activated; activating

Kids Definition of activate

: to start working or cause to start working Activate the alarm.

activate

transitive verb
ac·ti·vate | \ˈak-tə-ˌvāt \
activated; activating

Medical Definition of activate 

: to make active or more active: as

a : 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

Other Words from activate

activation \ˌak-tə-ˈvā-shən \ noun

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Comments on activate

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