What does the word actuate mean?

Usage examples for actuate

  1. With Edison's telephone the sound- waves simply actuate an electric valve, so to speak, and permit variations in a current of any desired strength. – Edison, His Life and Inventions by Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
  2. I shall shift the oscillators so that the psychons, instead of becoming light quanta, emerge as an electron flow- a current which will actuate Isaak's vocal apparatus and come out as speech. – The Ideal by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  3. There were no grounds on which to found a caution, yet Grace felt full of discomfort and distrust, a feeling shared by Alison, who had never forgiven herself for her half confidence, and felt that it would be wiser to tell the rest, but was withheld by knowing that her motive would actuate her sister to a contrary course. – The Clever Woman of the Family by Charlotte M. Yonge