pul·​sate | \ ˈpəl-ˌsāt How to pronounce pulsate (audio) also ˌpəl-ˈsāt \
pulsated; pulsating

Definition of pulsate

intransitive verb

1 : to throb or move rhythmically : vibrate
2 : to exhibit a pulse or pulsation : beat

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Examples of pulsate in a Sentence

The lights pulsated with the music. People danced to the pulsating sounds of hip-hop. Virtually every scene of the movie pulsates with suspense.
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Recent Examples on the Web Finding a pulsating white star means that scientists can determine how binary evolution has impacted the star's internal structure. Fox News, "Pulsating remains of star discovered by scientists," 18 Mar. 2020 The sensations pulsated and burned, seeming to originate deep in the bones. Jenna Birch, Health.com, "Before She Was Diagnosed With Small Fiber Polyneuropathy, Doctors Misdiagnosed This Woman's Pain for 18 Years," 20 May 2020 Stars this massive typically lose their hydrogen to stellar winds long before beginning to pulsate in the run-up to their supernovae. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Astronomers Spy Brightest Supernova Ever Seen," 15 Apr. 2020 And the teardrop pulsates inward and outward toward the companion. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "First of its kind “teardrop” star pulses with its own rhythm," 11 Mar. 2020 But the burgers were delicious, and pulsating deejay music kept the energy level high; indeed, several cooks, wearing chef whites and (thankfully) slip-resistant shoes, formed impromptu dance lines. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Hamburger Hop: A Hawaiian truffle burger earns Chicago bragging rights," 29 Sep. 2019 The factory cases emerged roughly two weeks - or one coronavirus incubation period - after a quinceañera in a nearby village that featured pulsating music and was attended by hundreds. Anchorage Daily News, "The coronavirus was spreading. The parties went on. Now comes the pain.," 10 Apr. 2020 While this case is largely an astronomical curiosity, finding other pulsating teardrop stars could help answer a larger question in the study of stellar vibrations: why do some stars quake while others remain still? Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "First of its kind “teardrop” star pulses with its own rhythm," 11 Mar. 2020 Stars are known to pulsate, and even our sun exhibits this kind of activity due to hot gas churning beneath the surface, causing oscillations. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Unusual tear-drop shaped, half-pulsating star discovered by amateur astronomers," 9 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pulsate.' 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 pulsate

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pulsate

in part borrowed from Latin pulsātus, past participle of pulsāre "to strike with repeated blows, beat, (in passive) beat wildly (of the heart)," frequentative or repetitive derivative of pellere "to beat against, push, strike"; in part from pulse entry 1 + -ate entry 4 — more at pulse entry 1

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Time Traveler for pulsate

Time Traveler

The first known use of pulsate was in 1744

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Statistics for pulsate

Last Updated

12 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pulsate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pulsate. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for pulsate


How to pronounce pulsate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pulsate

: to make strong and regular beats, sounds, flashes, etc.
: to be filled with activity or a feeling


pul·​sate | \ ˈpəl-ˌsāt How to pronounce pulsate (audio) \
pulsated; pulsating

Kids Definition of pulsate

: to have or show strong regular beats
pul·​sate | \ ˈpəl-ˌsāt also ˌpəl-ˈ \
pulsated; pulsating

Medical Definition of pulsate

: to exhibit a pulse or pulsation a pulsating artery

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More from Merriam-Webster on pulsate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pulsate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pulsate

Spanish Central: Translation of pulsate

Nglish: Translation of pulsate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pulsate for Arabic Speakers

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