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 Though 30-year Navy submarine officer Calvin Ponton of Chula Vista cherished the quite course walk Wednesday as attendance was limited to military members and first responders, the sounds of 2008 still pulsate in his mind. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 June 2021 Some stars pulsate, or one star within a stellar pair, called a binary, can be eclipsed by another. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 11 June 2021 All of your dodges, jabs, and uppercuts pulsate to an understated beat between the ropes. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 30 Mar. 2021 Then come the competitions—for the best costume, the best themed carnival band, the best calypso, and the best road march that will pulsate through the airwaves and then the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Elizabeth Nunez, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 Feb. 2021 Thick veins pulsate along his tawny arms, which move in concert over the gold-grey nylon fishing net sprawled in front of him. The Economist, 13 Jan. 2021 Scientists now know these to likely be the naturally occurring signals emitted by space objects that pulsate, like namesake pulsars. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 16 Dec. 2020 Pockets of moderate to heavy rain will pulsate through the region from the morning hours through the late afternoon. Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2020 Finding a pulsating white star means that scientists can determine how binary evolution has impacted the star's internal structure. Fox News, 18 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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Learn More About pulsate

Time Traveler for pulsate

Time Traveler

The first known use of pulsate was in 1744

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Statistics for pulsate

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pulsate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pulsate. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for pulsate



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


intransitive verb
pul·​sate | \ ˈpəl-ˌsāt also ˌpəl-ˈ \
pulsated; pulsating

Medical Definition of pulsate

: to exhibit a pulse or pulsation a pulsating artery

More from Merriam-Webster on pulsate

Nglish: Translation of pulsate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pulsate for Arabic Speakers


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