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 Hopey, eventually an elementary school teacher, is impulsive, prone to outbursts, and unafraid to hurt her loved ones, confident in her ability to lure them back. Dan Nadel, The New York Review of Books, "Clean Lines, Messy Lives," 6 July 2020 New York Times, the two arms control advocates argue that Trump’s impulsive nature makes the possibility of miscalculation greater. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Trump meets like-minded Polish president as he weighs moving US troops out of Germany to other NATO nations," 24 June 2020 Your great capacity for affection is best expressed through sincere acts of kindness rather than impulsive purchases. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 16, 2020: Taurus, risky activities trip you up; Pisces, give the gift of kindness," 16 June 2020 The most poignant and the most impulsive reasons to travel bundled into one. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "My Expat Childhood Made Me the Traveler I Am Today," 12 June 2020 International sojourns usually planned months in advance are being replaced with impulsive road trips booked a day before and weekend getaways are turning into weeks-long respites, Chesky said. Olivia Carville, Fortune, "Airbnb sees a surge in demand from cooped up urbanites," 8 June 2020 International sojourns usually planned months in advance are being replaced with impulsive road trips booked a day before and weekend getaways are turning into weeks-long respites, Chesky said. Olivia Carville, BostonGlobe.com, "Airbnb joins vacation-rental sites seeing surge in demand," 8 June 2020 International sojourns usually planned months in advance are being replaced with impulsive road trips booked a day before and weekend getaways are turning into weeks-long respites, Chesky said. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Airbnb sees surge in summer rentals, with Texas’ Port Aransas among top U.S. destinations," 8 June 2020 Those include focusing our attention, creating and organizing thoughts, setting goals, planning actions and putting a stop to impulsive thoughts and behaviors. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "How to make good decisions when you're paralyzed by the stress of protests and the pandemic," 4 June 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

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impulsive. Accessed 6 Aug. 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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Comments on impulsive

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