Dictionary: ACT'U-ATE – A-CU-TIA'TOR

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Put in action. [Little used.]

ACT'U-ATE, v.t. [From act.]

To put into action; to move or incite to action; as, men are actuated by motives, or passions. It seems to have been used formerly in the sense of invigorate, noting increase of action; but the use is not legitimate.

ACT'U-A-TED, pp.

Put in action; incited to action.

ACT'U-A-TING, ppr.

Putting in action; inciting to action.


The state of being put in action; effectual operation. – Glanville.

ACT'US, n.

Among the Romans, a measure in building equal to 120 Roman feet. In agriculture, the length of one furrow.

AC'U-ATE, v.t. [L. acuo, to sharpen. See Acid.]

To sharpen; to make pungent, or corrosive. [Little used.] – Harvey.

AC'U-ATE, v.t. [L. acuo.]

To sharpen; to enhance.

AC-U-BENE', n.

A star of the fourth magnitude in the southern claw of Cancer.

AC-U-I'TION, n. [from L. acuo, to sharpen.]

The sharpening of medicines to increase their effect.

A-CU'LE-ATE, a. [L. aculeus, from acus, Gr. ακη, a point, and the diminutive ul. See Acid.]

  1. In botany, having prickles, or sharp points; pointed; used chiefly to denote prickles fixed in the bark, in distinction from thorns, which grow from the wood. – Milne.
  2. In zoology, having a sting.

A-CU'LE-I, n. [L.]

In botany and zoology, prickles.

AC'U-LON, or AC'U-LOS, n. [Gr. ακυλος, probably from ac, an oak.]

The fruit or acorn of the ilex, or scarlet oak.

A-CU'MEN, n. [L. acumen, from acus or acuo.]

A sharp point; and figuratively, quickness of perception, the faculty of nice discrimination.

AC-U'MIN-ATE, a. [L. acuminatus, from acumen.]

Having a long projecting and highly tapering point. De Candolle.


Sharpened to a point.


A sharpening; termination in a sharp point.


AC-U-PUNC'TURE, n. [L. acus, needle, and punctura, or punctus, a pricking.]

A surgical operation, performed by pricking the part affected with a needle, as in head-aches and lethargies. – Encyc.

AC'U-RU, n.

The name in India of a fragrant aloe-wood. – As. Researches.

A'CUS, n. [L.]

  1. The needle-fish, or gar-fish.
  2. The ammodyte or sand eel. – Cyc.
  3. The oblong cimex. – Cyc.

A-CUTE', a. [L. acutus, sharp-pointed; Qu. from acuo, acus, or from the Oriental חד had or chad, sharp, Heb. Ch. Ar.]

  1. Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point; opposed to blunt or obtuse. An acute angle in geometry, is one which is less than a right angle, or which subtends less than ninety degrees. An acute angled triangle is one whose three angles are all acute, or less than ninety degrees each.
  2. Figuratively, applied to mental powers; penetrating; having nice discernment; perceiving or using minute distinctions; opposed to dull or stupid; as, an acute reasoner.
  3. Applied to the senses; having nice or quick sensibility; susceptible of slight impressions; having power to feel or perceive small objects; as, a man of acute eyesight, hearing, or feeling.
  4. An acute disease, is one which is attended with violent symptoms, and comes speedily to a crisis, as a pleurisy; opposed to chronic.
  5. An acute accent, is that which elevates or sharpens the voice.
  6. In music, acute is applied to a tone which is sharp, or high; opposed to grave.
  7. In botany, ending in an acute angle, as a leaf or perianth. – Martyn.

A-CUTE'LY, adv.

Sharply; keenly; with nice discrimination.


  1. Sharpness; but seldom used in this literal sense, as applied to material things.
  2. Figuratively, the faculty of nice discernment or perception; applied to the senses, or the understanding. By an acuteness of feeling, we perceive small objects or slight impressions; by an acuteness of intellect, we discern nice distinctions.
  3. Sharpness, or elevation of sound, in rhetoric or music. – Boyle.
  4. Violence of a disease, which brings it speedily to a crisis.


In the middle ages, a person whose office was to sharpen instruments. Before the invention of firearms, such officers attended armies to sharpen their instruments. – Encyc.