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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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British Dictionary definitions for un-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 un-activated

activate

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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