from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To put into motion or action; activate: electrical relays that actuate the elevator's movements.
- transitive v. To move to action: a speech that actuated dissent.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To activate, or to put into motion; to animate.
- v. To incite to action; to motivate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To put into action or motion; to move or incite to action; to influence actively; to move as motives do; -- more commonly used of persons.
- transitive v. To carry out in practice; to perform.
- adj. Put in action; actuated.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To put into action; move or incite to action: as, men are actuated by motives or passions.
- To make actual or real; carry out; execute; perform.
- Synonyms Actuate, Impel, Induce, Incite, Prompt, Instigate. (See impel.) To actuate is merely to call into action, without regard to the nature of the actuating force; but it is very commonly used of motives: as, the murderer was actuated by revenge.
- Impel, to drive toward, is expressive of more passion, haste, urgency, necessity; hence it is coupled with words of corresponding kind, and when used with quieter words it gives them force: as, youth impelled him.
- Induce, to lead toward, is gentler by as much as leading is gentler than driving; it implies the effort to persuade by presenting motives, but is also used where the persuasion is only figurative: as, I was at last induced to go; he was induced by my example.
- Incite, prompt, instigate are used only when motives irrespective of physical force are the actuating power. Incite is weaker than impel and stronger than prompt; it expresses more eagerness than impel; it implies the urging of men toward the objects of kindled feelings and generally of strong desire. Prompt is more general in its meaning, depending upon its connection for force and limitation; it is often preferred for its brevity and breadth of application.
- Instigate, to goad on, is sometimes, but erroneously, used of incitement to good; it should be used only where the urging is toward evil. It generally implies that such urging is underhand, although that fact is sometimes explicitly stated: he was (secretly) instigated to his perfidy.
- Put into action. South.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. put in motion or move to act
- v. give an incentive for action
Medieval Latin āctuāre, āctuāt-, from Latin āctus, act; see act.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin āctuātus, perfect passive participle of āctuō ("actuate, implement"), from Latin āctus, perfect passive participle of agō ("do, act"). (Wiktionary)