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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.


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actuate (verb) to make a machine or a device work; to cause to behave in a particular manner.

Turning on a switch may actuate a machine. In time bombs, for example, a clock actuates the exploding device, that is, the clock makes the bomb explode at the time set for the explosion. Envy may make a person behave badly towards you, in which case they are actuated by envy. A feeling of neglect may make a person behave nastily towards others. Then they are actuated by that feeling.

  • She was actuated by his ill-treatment of her to decide to divorce him.
  • The trolley was actuated by some worker touching the controls accidentally, and it moved down the shaft killing some of the workers at the bottom of the pit.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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