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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 of activate
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for activated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As soon as the Displacer was activated, the Grom armies would begin to pour through.

    Keep Your Shape Robert Sheckley
  • Nuwell activated it, and they went through it into the big building.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • He activated his levitator, floated to his boat, and pulled it away from its shelter, setting the course toward Tibara.

    The Weakling Everett B. Cole
  • When you threw that switch, it sent out an impulse that activated them.

    The Cosmic Computer Henry Beam Piper
  • In the control room they threw the switches that activated a powerful protective energy screen around the ship.

    Star Surgeon Alan Nourse
British Dictionary definitions for activated

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 activated

activate

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for activated

activated

adjective

Intoxicated by alcohol; tipsy: They got a little activated after their team lost in the Elite 8

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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15
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