impulsive

adjective
im·​pul·​sive | \ im-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce impulsive (audio) \

Definition of impulsive

1a : arising from an impulse an impulsive decision
b : prone to act on impulse an impulsive young man
2 : acting momentarily
3 : having the power of or actually driving or impelling

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Other Words from impulsive

impulsively adverb
impulsiveness noun
impulsivity \ im-​ˌpəl-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce impulsivity (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for impulsive

spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical mean acting or activated without deliberation. spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness. a spontaneous burst of applause impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment. impulsive acts of violence instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will. blinking is an instinctive reaction automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response. his denial was automatic mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response. a mechanical teaching method

Examples of impulsive in a Sentence

I couldn't make out exactly what had happened, though I could guess how it started—the two of them talking, kidding around when Mrs. Ramsey came down to the library basement to file some periodicals, an impulsive kiss in the stacks … — Tobias Wolff, Old School, 2003 There was an odd nobility, a knight-errant quality, about Alan—in his willingness to suffer for the sake of life itself, in his tendency to view himself under harsher light than he would turn on others, in his impulsive generosity. — Tracy Kidder, Home Town, 1999 So speaks Maude Bailey, the celibate feminist scholar heroine of A. S. Byatt's fifth novel, as, in an impulsive collusion with a male scholar she scarcely knows, she runs off to Brittany. — Joyce Carol Oates, Vogue, November 1990 She's impulsive and often does things that she later regrets. He needs to learn to control his impulsive behavior. She made an impulsive decision to quit her job.
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Recent Examples on the Web The move, like Trump's impulsive decision to blow up covid relief talks only to later restart them, was one of several recent episodes that felt less like an effort to win and more about creating excuses for a loss. Arkansas Online, "Trump's task: Resetting campaign that GOP fears is slipping," 12 Oct. 2020 The move, like Trump's impulsive decision to blow up COVID relief talks only to later restart them, was one of several recent episodes that felt less like an effort to win and more about creating excuses for a loss. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "Trump's task: Resetting campaign that GOP fears is slipping," 11 Oct. 2020 Don’t let your political views lead you to impulsive investment decisions. Mark Skoneki, orlandosentinel.com, "Free financial service helps Sentinel readers manage their money," 8 Oct. 2020 Someone’s impulsive actions can throw a wrench into your plans, but wait for a silver lining. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 28, 2020: Gemini, write down imaginative ideas; Scorpio, think before you act," 28 Sep. 2020 But one who starts out, just like his comics counterpart in the early ’60s, too brash, too impulsive and a little too shallow. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Teen Titans stories celebrate underdogs: Captain Comics," 2 Oct. 2020 One is familiar: the injustice collector, impulsive and overconfident, who is eager to expose naïveté in everyone but him- or herself. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "A Theory About Conspiracy Theories," 28 Sep. 2020 That means no more candy, soda and salty snacks available for impulsive shoppers waiting in line to pay the cashier. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Berkeley, California, bans candy, junk food at grocery checkouts," 25 Sep. 2020 Try not to make any earth-shattering decisions or impulsive changes. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 23, 2020: Virgo, skip major purchases; Sagittarius, stay on top of trends," 23 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impulsive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impulsive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for impulsive

see impulse entry 1

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Time Traveler for impulsive

Time Traveler

The first known use of impulsive was in the 15th century

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Statistics for impulsive

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impulsive. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for impulsive

impulsive

adjective
How to pronounce impulsive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impulsive

: doing things or tending to do things suddenly and without careful thought : acting or tending to act on impulse
: done suddenly and without planning : resulting from a sudden impulse

impulsive

adjective
im·​pul·​sive | \ im-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce impulsive (audio) \

Kids Definition of impulsive

1 : acting or tending to act suddenly and without careful thought He's impulsive and does things he regrets.
2 : resulting from a sudden impulse an impulsive decision

Other Words from impulsive

impulsively adverb

impulsive

adjective
im·​pul·​sive | \ im-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce impulsive (audio) \

Medical Definition of impulsive

1 : having the power of or actually driving or impelling
2 : actuated by or prone to act on impulse impulsive behavior
3 : acting momentarily brief impulsive auditory stimuli

Other Words from impulsive

impulsively adverb
impulsiveness noun
impulsivity \ -​ˌpəl-​ˈsiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce impulsivity (audio) \ noun, plural impulsivities

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