- 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)