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 impulsive (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 In Chaudhuri’s experience, that sophistication in hiring coaches has made owners less impulsive in firing them. New York Times, "European Soccer Learns a New Virtue: Patience," 23 Dec. 2020 If you get caught off guard by something someone says, take a moment to let the dust settle before responding; a clear and thought-out reaction will do you better than an impulsive one. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for December 18, 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 Nine abused mothers said child welfare workers characterized them as impulsive, combative, uncooperative, erratic or unstable. USA Today, "Her memory of the midnight attack was muddled, but her battered body bore the story.," 17 Dec. 2020 Rather than make an impulsive purchase, think it through unless the item might not be available in the future. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 2, 2020: Taurus, be energized, hip; Sagittarius, take steps to save the planet," 2 Dec. 2020 Community Partnership labeled her impulsive and uncooperative. Suzanne Hirt, USA Today, "Her husband beat her. Caseworkers ‘pushed her to the edge.’," 17 Dec. 2020 Because Cleone possesses both an impulsive nature and an impoverished suitor named David Ancaster, her wealthy father and rakish brother decide to whisk her away on a European tour. Washington Post, "My plan for fending off the holiday blues? Escaping into light fiction from another era.," 16 Dec. 2020 The bride who tends to be indecisive or impulsive with fashion is not right for the custom design process—and that's okay. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "When & How to Shop for a Wedding Dress—This Year and Next," 14 Dec. 2020 Some Democrats who agreed to the 2017 waiver saw Mattis as tempering Trump's impulsive nature and offsetting his lack of national security experience. Arkansas Online, "Biden's Pentagon nominee puts some Democrats in a bind," 9 Dec. 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impulsive. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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 impulsive (audio) \ noun, plural impulsivities

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Comments on impulsive

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