Definition of actuate
1 : to put into mechanical action or motion The pump is actuated by the windmill.
2 : to move to action a decision actuated by greed
actuationplay \ˌak-chə-ˈwā-shən, -shə-\ noun
Examples of actuate in a Sentence
The pump is actuated by the windmill.
a light actuated by a motion detector
Recent Examples of actuate from the Web
The window switches are mounted high and far forward on the door panel and awkward to actuate.
The flames are fed by a 10-gallon liquid propane tank, which is secured in the snail’s neck and will be actuated by reins attached to a pair of globe valves pictured here.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of actuate
Medieval Latin actuatus, past participle of actuare to execute, from Latin actus act
First Known Use: 1641See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of actuate
ACTUATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of actuate for English Language Learners
: to make (a machine or electrical device) move or operate
: to cause someone to do something or to act in a certain way
Seen and Heard
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