Definition of impetus
2 : the property possessed by a moving body in virtue of its mass and its motion —used of bodies moving suddenly or violently to indicate the origin and intensity of the motion
impetus was our Word of the Day on 08/07/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of impetus in a Sentence
In a revealing comment, Mr. Updike says an impetus for Rabbit, Run was the “threatening” success of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, the signature book of the 1950s Beat Generation, and its frenetic search for sensation. —Dennis Farney, Wall Street Journal, 16 Sept. 1992
But 1939 gave new impetus to the Western with the Cecil B. de Mille railway epic Union Pacific, John Ford's skillful and dramatic Stagecoach, … and George Marshall's classic comic Western, Destry Rides Again. —Ira Konigsberg, The Complete Film Dictionary, 1987
… new techniques of navigation and shipbuilding enlarged trade and the geographical horizon; newly centralized power absorbed from the declining medieval communes was at the disposal of the monarchies and the growing nationalism of the past century gave it impetus … —Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly, 1984
His discoveries have given impetus to further research.
the reward money should be sufficient impetus for someone to come forward with information about the robbery
Recent Examples of impetus from the Web
Still, the State Department’s definition did nothing to assuage concerns that the impetus of the policy is Trump’s discriminatory intent toward Muslims.
He, Thomas and reigning champion Russell Knox credit Tiger Woods as the impetus for this current generation of talented players in their 20s.
The impetus for the study came out of an MPAA report which found that non-white moviegoers made up 49 percent of tickets sold in 2016, and 45 percent in 2015.
Whitman said cost was not the impetus for changing plans.
The success of LIGO has also given new impetus for U.S. involvement in LISA; NASA is now expected to contribute up to 20% of the roughly €1 billion cost of the mission, probably by contributing lasers and the telescopes to pick up their light.
On that note, Kim mentioned that the impetus for her contouring and highlighting line came from a place of transformation.
Another impetus was the city agreeing this winter to allow dispensaries approved to sell medical marijuana to also begin selling recreational marijuana when the state finalizes regulations for such businesses at the end of this year.
There is no question the Cowboys’ decision to add a weight clause to his contract via incentives was the initial impetus.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impetus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
impetus Has Latin Roots
You already have plenty of incentive to learn the origin of "impetus," so we won't force the point. "Impetus" comes from Latin, where it means "attack or assault"; the verb "impetere" was formed by combining the prefix in- with petere, meaning "to go to or seek." "Petere" also gives us other words suggesting a forceful urging or momentum, such as "appetite," "perpetual," and "centripetal." "Impetus" describes the kind of force that encourages an action ("the impetus behind the project") or the momentum of an action already begun ("the meetings only gave impetus to the rumors of a merger").
IMPETUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of impetus for English Language Learners
: a force that causes something (such as a process or activity) to be done or to become more active
: a force that causes an object to begin moving or to continue to move
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up impetus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).