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From Medieval Latin āctuātus, perfect passive participle of āctuō (actuate, implement), from Latin āctus, perfect passive participle of agō (do, act).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæktʃu.eɪt/, /ˈæktju.eɪt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæktʃu.eɪt/
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actuate (third-person singular simple present actuates, present participle actuating, simple past and past participle actuated)

  1. (transitive) To activate, or to put into motion; to animate.
    • Johnson
      Wings, which others were contriving to actuate by the perpetual motion.
  2. (transitive) To incite to action; to motivate.
    • 1748. HUME, David Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. 2. ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 11.
      A man in a fit of anger, is actuated in a very different manner from one who only thinks of that emotion.
    • Addison
      Men of the greatest abilities are most fired with ambition; and, on the contrary, mean and narrow minds are the least actuated by it.

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