verb (used with object), ac·tu·at·ed, ac·tu·at·ing.
- to incite or move to action; impel; motivate: actuated by selfish motives.
- to put into action; start a process; turn on: to actuate a machine.
- to put into action or mechanical motion
- to motivate or incite into actionactuated by unworthy desires
1590s, from Medieval Latin actuatus, past participle of actuare, from Latin actus (see act (n.)). Related: Actuated; actuating.