- The definition of actuate is the act of putting something into motion.
An example of actuate is a tweeting bird popping out of a cu-cu clock as it strikes the hour.
transitive verbac·tu·at·ed, ac·tu·at·ing, ac·tu·ates
- To put into motion or action; activate: electrical relays that actuate the elevator.
- To cause to take action: a speech that actuated dissenters.
Origin of actuateMedieval Latin āctuāre, āctuāt-, from Latin āctus, act; see act.
(third-person singular simple present actuates, present participle actuating, simple past and past participle actuated)
From Medieval Latin āctuātus, perfect passive participle of āctuō (“actuate, implement”), from Latin āctus, perfect passive participle of agō (“do, act”).