Etymology
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actuate (v.)

1590s, "perform" (a sense now obsolete), from Medieval Latin actuatus, past participle of actuare "perform, put into action," from Latin actus "a doing" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Sense of "put into action, inspire with activity" is from 1640s. Related: Actuated; actuating.

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Definitions of actuate

actuate (v.)
put in motion or move to act;
actuate the circuits
Synonyms: trip / trigger / activate / set off / spark off / spark / trigger off / touch off
actuate (v.)
give an incentive for action;
Synonyms: motivate / propel / move / prompt / incite
From wordnet.princeton.edu