Definition of impulse
: to give an impulse to
First Known Use of impulse
Definition of impulse
2a : the act of driving onward with sudden force : impulsionb : motion produced by such an impulsion : impetusc : a wave of excitation transmitted through tissues and especially nerve fibers and muscles that results in physiological activity or inhibition — see nerve impluse
3a : a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated actionb : a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational
4a : the product of the average value of a force and the time during which it acts : the change in momentum produced by the forceb : pulse 4a
Examples of impulse in a Sentence
He has to learn to control his impulses.
the new auto factory was just the impulse that the local economy needed
Recent Examples of impulse from the Web
However, the U.S. alliance system in Asia remains intact and there are strong anti-China impulses in the White House.
One weakness of Trump’s campaign was that it was guided almost entirely by the candidate’s impulses.
So the retailer's app has become a way to send push notifications about deals to drive impulse bargain shopping.
The impulse that rejects the very notion of IQ differences between races will thrive despite any beneficent intentions founded on belief in such differences.
But Peter is too enthralled by his supernatural bag of tricks, and too young for impulse control.
For decades, civility has acted as the levee protecting our society from its own worst impulses.
Her initial impulse was to move and never look back.
Unlike her Gryffindor besties, who routinely act out of impulse, Hermione is smart enough to weigh the risks of action and inaction—and then courageous and creative enough to act decisively in the face of invariably dim odds.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impulse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of impulse
Latin impulsus, from impellere to impel
First Known Use: 1647See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of impulse
IMPULSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of impulse for English Language Learners
: a sudden strong desire to do something
: a small amount of energy that moves from one area to another
IMPULSE Defined for Kids
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
2a: 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. Cardozob: a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational the fundamental impulse of self-expression—Havelock Ellis
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