He could feel the blood pulsing through his veins.
Dance music pulsed from the speakers.
The city pulses with life.
Recent Examples on the Web
The most severe type is heat stroke, a medical emergency that causes a rapid pulse, dizziness, and nausea.8
Sweating helps release build-ups of dirt and sebum (oil) on your skin.—Amanda MacMillan, Health, 25 Nov. 2023 Step 2 Make the crust: To a food processor, add the pecans, pine nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles small pebbles.—Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater, Saveur, 22 Nov. 2023 One of the great things about being a young entrepreneur is your ability to pivot and have a finger on the pulse of culture and what’s working.—Jane Thier, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 Her work focuses on the pulse of the modern rhythms of Latinidad, arts and culture.—Roxsy Lin, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 The hydration serum was infused with electroporation– short, high voltage pulses allowing serums to penetrate the skin’s barrier– enhanced with LED blue light therapy for acne.—India Espy-Jones, Essence, 16 Nov. 2023 Add the butter and pulse until fully incorporated, then add the egg and vanilla, and pulse just until the dough comes together in large clumps.—Genevieve Ko, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023 The doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis relied on reading these excreta in addition to sensing subtle changes in the pulse.—Meg Leja, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2023 To assess employee engagement, Allstate conducts pulse surveys.—Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2023
Above all, there’s the sheer pulsing ecstasy of a crowd who feed off their queen’s energy and reflect it back to her a thousandfold.—Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Nov. 2023 Even the animals that men killed for food came back to life before they could be eaten, their flesh writhing and pulsing with a dark energy.—Keri Blakinger, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2023 But sets like this also function as X-rays of the duo’s sensibility, tracing the hip-hop and techno pulses that slide beneath the surface of even their most chaotic work.—Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 22 Aug. 2023 Delivered over a pulsing piano that harkens to 1980s Chicago, the song ultimately lands at a heavier-sounding chorus that contemplates the couple in question as action heroes battling the world.—Tom Roland, Billboard, 15 Nov. 2023 Even in the context of the pulsing neon goat rodeo of the Vegas Strip, this was a sensory assault.—Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 14 Nov. 2023 The tune is more mysterious and rhythmic, with flutes pulsing over a chugging guitar, two dark chords and thundering timpani.—Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 His company had a San Francisco business address, but a bridge still separated him from the pulsing heart of the tech boom.—Albert Samaha, Rolling Stone, 22 Oct. 2023 All of them smooth the transition into abstraction—into texture and movement and pure, pulsing atmosphere—and, ultimately, back into painting.—Vince Aletti, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pulse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English pous, pouce, pulse, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French pous, polz, puls, borrowed from Latin pulsus "action of beating or striking, beat, stroke, beat of the heart" ("pulse" in phrase pulsus venārum/artēriārum, literally, "beating of the veins/arteries"), noun of action from pellere "to beat against, push, strike, rouse, expel, repulse," of uncertain origin
The etymology of pellere is problematic, because it lacks an obvious formal and semantic counterpart in other Indo-European languages. A traditional explanation derives it from a base *pel-d-, with the *-d- a present-tense formative marking an action reaching a definite termination (thus Ernout and Meillet in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine, 8. édition, 1985; cf. tender entry 3). A hypothetically related form would be Greek pállō, pállein "to poise (a missile before it is thrown), brandish, swing, shake" (Epic aorist pêlai, 3rd singular passive pálto), though semantically the comparison is weak. A base *pel-d- would correctly produce the past participle pulsus (from *poltos < *pl̥d-t-os); however the frequentative verb pultāre "to strike repeatedly," attested in Plautus alongside pulsāre, suggests that the original past participle may have been *pultus. According to an alternative hypothesis, pellere is descended from an Indo-European base *pelh2- "approach, draw near," seen in Greek pílnamai "I draw near to, make contact with," 3rd singular aorist plêto, verbal adjective in the negated form áplētos, áplātos "unapproachable, monstrous." (The assumed semantic shift is from "approach, touch" to "push, strike.") Both Latin and Greek verbs would continue a present with nasal infix *pl̥-ne-h2-/pl̥n-h2-. These presumably are seen also in Umbrian ampentu, apentu, ampetu, 3rd singular imperative (allegedly "touches, brings near," with the prefix an- "up, upon," but the meaning of this verb, describing the first action of an animal sacrifice in the Iguvine Tables, is quite uncertain); Old Irish ˑella in adˑella "(s/he) visits, approaches," doˑella "(s/he) turns aside, goes astray" (< *φal-na-?; e-vocalism is secondary) and eblaid "(s/he) will drive/impel," suppletive future to aigid "(s/he) drives" (< *pi-plā-); Middle Welsh el, 3rd person singular present subjunctive of mynet "to go" (< *pel-ase/o-). Note that alongside pellere there is a group of first-conjugation verbs with the same base pell- that occur only with prefixes: appellāre "to speak to, address, name," compellāre "to address, appeal to, rebuke," interpellāre "to interrupt" (see appeal entry 2, compellation, interpellate). According to P. Schrijver (The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Latin, Rodopi, 1991, pp. 408-12), these are a relic of an original nasal present *pel-n-a-C (< *pl̥-ne-h2- with full-grade vocalism) given a thematic suffix *-i̯e/o- in derivatives. These verbs have the common underlying sense "to address (positively or negatively)," which fits fairly well with the hypothetical meaning "approach" of the base *pelh2-. For English borrowings of prefixed forms of pellere see compel, dispel, expel, impel, propel, repel.
Middle English puls, probably from Anglo-French puuiz gruel, from Latin pult-, puls, probably from Greek poltos
: a transient variation of a quantity (as electric current or voltage) whose value is normally constant—often used of current variations produced artificially and repeated either with a regular period or according to some code
: an electromagnetic wave or modulation thereof having brief duration
: a brief disturbance transmitted through a medium
: a dose of a substance especially when applied over a short period of time
therapy with pulses of intravenous methylprednisolone