verb (used with object), actuated, actuating.
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.

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin āctuāt(us) reduced to action (past participle of āctuāre), equivalent to Latin āctu(s) (see act) + -ātus -ate1

actuation, noun
deactuate, verb (used with object), deactuated, deactuating.
self-actuating, adjective
unactuated, adjective

activate, actuate, stimulate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
actuate (ˈæktʃʊˌeɪt)
1.  to put into action or mechanical motion
2.  to motivate or incite into action: actuated by unworthy desires
[C16: from Medieval Latin actuātus, from actuāre to incite to action, from Latin āctusact]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
The same exquisitely sensitive actuation systems are finding their way into
  brakes and steering as well.
There's soft-touch electronic actuation for virtually every control, from the
  window switches to the trunk release.
The recirculation actuation signal would result in tripping all low pressure
  injection pumps.
Note that it is the shorted turn that causes the reduction in loop inductance
  and thus the actuation.
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