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activate

[ak-tuh-veyt] /ˈæk təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), activated, activating.
1.
to make active; cause to function or act.
2.
Physics.
  1. to render more reactive; excite:
    to activate a molecule.
  2. to induce radioactivity.
3.
to aerate (sewage) in order to accelerate decomposition of impure organic matter by microorganisms.
4.
Chemistry.
  1. to make (carbon, a catalyst, molecules, etc.) more active.
  2. to hasten (reactions) by various means, as heating.
5.
to place (a military unit or station) on an active status in an assigned capacity.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; active + -ate1
Related forms
activation, noun
nonactivation, noun
overactivate, verb (used with object), overactivated, overactivating.
superactivate, verb (used with object), superactivated, superactivating.
unactivated, adjective
Can be confused
activate, actuate, stimulate.
Synonyms
1. actuate, start, turn on, set going.
Antonyms
1. stop, halt, check.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for activate
  • activate the camera's zoom function to capture tight shots and close ups, then share your movies easily with your loved ones.
  • Researchers start by coaxing cells in culture to activate bitter-taste receptors.
  • Bioengineers have long understood how to manipulate genes to function as switches that activate other genes.
  • It's important to combine the musical stimuli with imagery because when you do you activate more areas in the brain.
  • Buttermilk's slight acidity helps activate baking soda and make bread rise.
  • activate prior knowledge about instruments used to measure weather.
  • activate the buttons at the top right to map continental characteristics.
  • activate students' prior knowledge and build background.
  • activate students' prior knowledge by inviting them to tell what they already know about the glossary words.
  • activate prior knowledge about seasons and sunlight.
British Dictionary definitions for activate

activate

/ˈæktɪˌveɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to make active or capable of action
2.
(physics) to make radioactive
3.
(chem)
  1. to increase the rate of (a reaction)
  2. to treat (a substance, such as carbon or alumina) so as to increase powers of adsorption
4.
(physiol) to prepare by arousal (the body or one of its organs (e.g. the brain)) for action
5.
to purify (sewage) by aeration
6.
(US, military) to create, mobilize, or organize (a unit)
Derived Forms
activation, noun
activator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for activate
v.

1620s; see active + -ate (2). Related: Activated; activating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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