to make active; cause to function or act.

to render more reactive; excite:
to activate a molecule.
to induce radioactivity.

to aerate (sewage) in order to accelerate decomposition of impure organic matter by microorganisms.

to make (carbon, a catalyst, molecules, etc.) more .
to hasten (reactions) by various means, as heating.

to place (a military unit or station) on an active status in an assigned capacity.
Contemporary Examples

The manager responded by directing the first teller to call the police and activate the alarm.
New Usual Suspects in U.S. Bank Heists: Women Michael Daly May 13, 2012

Buy a printed hardcover or paperback book for, say, $25 and then you could activate it as a digital file or downloadable audio.
Buy One Book, Get One Free Peter Osnos May 18, 2009

I read a study not long ago that chewing actually does activate your brain.
Elizabeth Gilbert: How I Write Noah Charney October 1, 2013

Perry will home in on the darkest corners of the Tea Party mind and work relentlessly to activate the demons that lurk there.
Perry: King of the Know-Nothings Michael Tomasky August 18, 2011

We now know that both of the so-called printer bombs employed circuit boards from cellphones to activate the detonators.
Al Qaeda’s Doomsday Plan Clive Irving November 1, 2010

Historical Examples

It could be induced to go into action and to activate the other plasmoids.
Legacy James H Schmitz

The males are few in number and lack the power to activate the disks.
Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton

It seemed to activate some hidden response in her, for she glowed with tenderness.
Martians Never Die Lucius Daniel

Furiously, he tried to summon some tiny bit of energy to activate the distorter.
The Weakling Everett B. Cole

A neutron moderator slows down the neutrons and thus makes them more likely to activate the calcium in the bones.
The Atomic Fingerprint Bernard Keisch

verb (transitive)
to make active or capable of action
(physics) to make radioactive

to increase the rate of (a reaction)
to treat (a substance, such as carbon or alumina) so as to increase powers of adsorption

(physiol) to prepare by arousal (the body or one of its organs (e.g. the brain)) for action
to purify (sewage) by aeration
(US, military) to create, mobilize, or organize (a unit)

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


Read Also:

  • Activated alumina

    alumina in the form of granules having many fine pores, used to adsorb water and various gases. noun a granular highly porous and adsorptive form of aluminium oxide, used for drying gases and as an oil-filtering material and catalyst

  • Activated carbon

    a form of carbon having very fine pores: used chiefly for adsorbing gases or solutes, as in various filter systems for purification, deodorization, and decolorization. noun a porous highly adsorptive form of carbon used to remove colour or impurities from liquids and gases, in the separation and extraction of chemical compounds, and in the recovery […]

  • Activated charcoal

    a form of carbon having very fine pores: used chiefly for adsorbing gases or solutes, as in various filter systems for purification, deodorization, and decolorization. Contemporary Examples As for the claims that activated charcoal will help purify your body from toxins? Could Eating Charcoal Help You Detox? DailyBurn September 19, 2014 activated charcoal is the […]

  • Activated mine

    a mine with a secondary fuze designed to explode if the mine is tampered with.

Disclaimer: Activate definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.