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
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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
No one could accuse Valcuha's Haydn of lacking in personality, but in the first movement his tendency to pull back just when the music was gathering forward impetus resulted in a slackening of line.
The impetus for her work has emerged from an intense conviction about the powerful role of art in a variety of social/cultural settings, public and private, Mears said.
What’s more, as long as the Taliban and other insurgent groups can demonstrate the ability to strike deep in the heart of the most secure parts of Kabul, the impetus to negotiate will likely be reduced.
She was supported by most other EU governments so was pushing an open door much of the time, and the terror attacks in France gave impetus to get the legislation passed.
The impetus for this was a strategic goal that council passed unanimously.
The impetus for Brooks’s attack on Sumner was that Sumner had mocked Brooks’s second cousin, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, for his support of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Wendy Sinnette confirmed Monday SB-328 was not the main impetus for the district’s exploring a later bell schedule at the high school.
It’s also the impetus Mirren needs to join the cook and take poetic revenge on the gangster.
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
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