ac·​tu·​a·​tor | \ ˈak-chə-ˌwā-tər How to pronounce actuator (audio) , -shə- \

Definition of actuator

: one that actuates specifically : a mechanical device for moving or controlling something

Examples of actuator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first is how much work an actuator can provide. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 But for the actuator in the new mechanical jumper, the engineers used a motor—which could turn multiple times before each jump and thus keep storing more energy. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 Dual actuator HDDs double the data rate out of the HDD. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 Consisting of two powerful rare-earth magnets, the magnet assembly is a critical muscle within the hard drive, controlling an actuator arm that allows the device to read and write data. Maddie Stone, Wired, 7 Aug. 2021 In order to accommodate the wing’s new structure, the tilt mechanism has been redesigned with double-actuator arms that secure it at four points and also cut off another potential avenue of vibration. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 30 Sep. 2021 The actuator advances the injection needle repeatedly by a very short distance at very high speeds. Megan Molteni, STAT, 23 July 2021 Next, the actuator swings out the large portion of the arm with the charger tip. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 2 July 2021 To catch up with scheduled deliveries, Thomas began expediting shipments of the actuator in twice-daily truck runs. Washington Post, 8 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of actuator

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for actuator

actuate + -or entry 1

Learn More About actuator

Time Traveler for actuator

Time Traveler

The first known use of actuator was in 1652

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near actuator



act up

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for actuator

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Actuator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on actuator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for actuator

Britannica English: Translation of actuator for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!