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English definition of “actuate”

actuate

verb [T] uk   /ˈæk.tʃu.eɪt/ /-tju-/ specialized or formal us  
to make a machine work or be the reason a person acts in a certain way: A detonator is actuated by heat, percussion, friction, or electricity. He was actuated almost entirely by altruism.FunctioningPerforming a function
(Definition of actuate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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