to prompt, to initiate, to set in motion
(Sounds formal and has many possible translations in the dictionaries. The core theme of all of them is "setting something in motion", usually be asking for it or ordering it. Also sometimes works for events that prompt a person to take a course of action.)
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Word Family

Root: *le(i)-

The core idea of this root was:

letting go, slacken off, relenting

And we can still see this sense in the English offspring, like last, let, lenient, latter or late.

By the way, the words relax and and release, though they would fit in here, apparently come from a different root.

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