1

impulse

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verb im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls, im-ˈ\

Definition of impulse

impulsed

impulsing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to give an impulse to

1611

First Known Use of impulse

1611


2

impulse

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noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

Definition of impulse

  1. 1 a :  inspiration, motivation b :  a force so communicated as to produce motion suddenly c :  incentive

  2. 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. 3 a :  a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action b :  a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational

  4. 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 in a sentence

  1. He has to learn to control his impulses.

  2. <the new auto factory was just the impulse that the local economy needed>

Origin and Etymology 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>.

IMPULSE Defined for English Language Learners


2

impulse

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noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

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

impulse

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noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

Definition of impulse for Students

  1. 1 :  a force that starts a body into motion

  2. 2 :  the motion produced by a starting force

  3. 3 :  a strong sudden desire to do something <She resisted the impulse to shout.>

  4. 4 :  nerve impulse


Medical Dictionary

impulse

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noun im·pulse \ˈim-ˌpəls\

Medical Definition of impulse

  1. 1:  a wave of excitation transmitted through tissues and especially nerve fibers and muscles that results in physiological activity or inhibition

  2. 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. Cardozo>b:  a propensity or natural tendency usually other than rational <the fundamental impulse of self-expression—Havelock Ellis>



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