Dictionary

1impulse

verb im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls, im-ˈ\
im·pulsedim·puls·ing

Definition of IMPULSE

transitive verb
:  to give an impulse to

First Known Use of IMPULSE

1611

Rhymes with IMPULSE

2impulse

noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

: a sudden strong desire to do something

: a small amount of energy that moves from one area to another

Full Definition of IMPULSE

1
a :  inspiration, motivation
b :  a force so communicated as to produce motion suddenly
c :  incentive
2
a :  the act of driving onward with sudden force :  impulsion
b :  motion produced by such an impulsion :  impetus
c :  a wave of excitation transmitted through tissues and especially nerve fibers and muscles that results in physiological activity or inhibition
3
a :  a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action
b :  a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational
4
a :  the product of the average value of a force and the time during which it acts :  the change in momentum produced by the force
b :  pulse 4a

Examples of IMPULSE

  1. He has to learn to control his impulses.
  2. <the new auto factory was just the impulse that the local economy needed>

Origin of IMPULSE

Latin impulsus, from impellere to impel
First Known Use: 1647

Synonym Discussion of IMPULSE

motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act <a motive for the crime>. impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution <buying on impulse>. incentive applies to an external influence (as an expected reward) inciting to action <a bonus was offered as an incentive>. inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another <offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe>. spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor <fear was a spur to action>. goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire <thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency>.

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal
IMPULSING Defined for Kids

impulse

noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

Definition of IMPULSE for Kids

1
:  a force that starts a body into motion
2
:  the motion produced by a starting force
3
:  a strong sudden desire to do something <She resisted the impulse to shout.>
Medical Dictionary

impulse

noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

Medical Definition of IMPULSE

1
:  a wave of excitation transmitted through tissues and especially nerve fibers and muscles that results in physiological activity or inhibition
2
a :  a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action <some uncontrollable impulse…may have driven the defendant to the commission of the murderous act—B. N. Cardozo> b :  a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational <the fundamental impulse of self-expression—Havelock Ellis>

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