pulse

noun (1)
\ ˈpəls How to pronounce pulse (audio) \

Definition of pulse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the regular expansion of an artery caused by the ejection of blood into the arterial system by the contractions of the heart
b : the palpable beat resulting from such pulse as detected in a superficial artery also : the number of individual beats in a specified time period (such as one minute) a resting pulse of 70
2a : rhythmical beating, vibrating, or sounding
b : beat, throb
3a : underlying sentiment or opinion or an indication of it
b : vitality
4a : a transient variation of a quantity (such as electric current or voltage) whose value is normally constant
b(1) : an electromagnetic wave or modulation thereof of brief duration
(2) : a brief disturbance of pressure in a medium especially : a sound wave or short train of sound waves
5 : a dose of a substance especially when applied over a short period of time pulses of intravenous methylprednisolone

pulse

verb
pulsed; pulsing

Definition of pulse (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to exhibit a pulse or pulsation : throb

transitive verb

1 : to drive by or as if by a pulsation
2 : to cause to pulsate
3a : to produce or modulate (something, such as electromagnetic waves) in the form of pulses pulsed waves
b : to cause (an apparatus) to produce pulses

pulse

noun (2)

Definition of pulse (Entry 3 of 3)

: the edible seeds of various crops (such as peas, beans, or lentils) of the legume family also : a plant yielding pulse

Other Words from pulse

Verb

pulser noun

Examples of pulse in a Sentence

Verb He could feel the blood pulsing through his veins. Dance music pulsed from the speakers. The city pulses with life.

First Known Use of pulse

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pulse

Noun (1)

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

Note: 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.

Noun (2)

Middle English puls, probably from Anglo-French puuiz gruel, from Latin pult-, puls, probably from Greek poltos

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Time Traveler for pulse

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The first known use of pulse was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near pulse

pulsatory

pulse

pulsebeat

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Cite this Entry

“Pulse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pulse. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for pulse

pulse

noun
\ ˈpəls How to pronounce pulse (audio) \

Kids Definition of pulse

1 : a strong regular beating or throbbing the rhythmic pulse of the music
2 : the beat resulting from the regular widening of an artery in the body as blood flows through it Feel your wrist for a pulse.

pulse

noun
\ ˈpəls How to pronounce pulse (audio) \

Medical Definition of pulse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a regularly recurrent wave of distension in arteries that results from the progress through an artery of blood injected into the arterial system at each contraction of the ventricles of the heart
b : the palpable beat resulting from such pulse as detected in a superficial artery (as the radial artery) a very soft pulse also : the number of such beats in a specified period of time (as one minute) a resting pulse of 70
2 : pulsation
3a : 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
b : an electromagnetic wave or modulation thereof having brief duration
c : a brief disturbance transmitted through a medium
4 : a dose of a substance especially when applied over a short period of time therapy with pulses of intravenous methylprednisolone

pulse

verb
pulsed; pulsing

Medical Definition of pulse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to exhibit a pulse or pulsation

transitive verb

1 : to cause to pulsate
2a : to produce or modulate (as electromagnetic waves) in the form of pulses pulsed waves
b : to cause (an apparatus) to produce pulses

More from Merriam-Webster on pulse

Nglish: Translation of pulse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pulse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pulse

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