impulsive

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

Definition of impulsive

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

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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

Starting with the belligerent, impulsive and vulgar bully who’s sitting in the Oval Office. Megan Mcardle, The Denver Post, "Megan McArdle: I’ll vote for any of the Democrats. But please nominate someone who can actually win.," 8 July 2019 Meanwhile, recent studies show that people who underreact to stress are more likely to have impulsive behavior and substance addiction. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 The desert Kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman instils fear in western partners, who see him as young, impulsive and responsible for the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Nic Robertson, CNN, "With Iran, sometimes the logical explanation is the correct one," 14 June 2019 Aries Moon The first sign of the zodiac, Aries is known for an impulsive and fiery disposition. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Moon Sign Reveals About Your Emotional Personality," 23 Apr. 2018 Conscientious people are less impulsive and therefore more able to control and organize their time. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "The personality traits that put you at risk for smartphone addiction, according to science," 10 Apr. 2018 Getty Images Getty Images Hairstylist Adir Abergel alluded to the cult being impulsive. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Charlize Theron Just Showed Up to the Oscars With a Brand-New Haircut," 25 Feb. 2019 Most of Lorde’s moves, however, seemed more impulsive and improvised — unrehearsed, as if no one were watching. Timothy Finn, kansascity, "Lorde tells Kansas City crowd that 'Royals' 'is our song, and no one else’s' | The Kansas City Star," 4 Mar. 2018 If the uncharacteristic patience of the normally impulsive US president holds, his envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, may yet deliver such a settlement. The New York Review of Books, "The Resurgence of Central Asia, Islam or Nationalism," 27 Mar. 2017

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 1

History and Etymology for impulsive

see impulse entry 2

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Statistics for impulsive

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impulsive

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

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More Definitions for impulsive

impulsive

adjective

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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Comments on impulsive

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