stimulate

verb

stim·​u·​late ˈstim-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce stimulate (audio)
stimulated; stimulating

transitive verb

1
: to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity : animate, arouse
2
a
: to function as a physiological stimulus to
b
: to arouse or affect by a stimulant (such as a drug)

intransitive verb

: to act as a stimulant or stimulus
stimulation noun
stimulative adjective
stimulator noun
stimulatory adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for stimulate

provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken mean to arouse as if by pricking.

provoke directs attention to the response called forth.

my stories usually provoke laughter

excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly.

news that excited anger and frustration

stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference.

stimulating conversation

pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge.

that remark piqued my interest

quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively.

the high salary quickened her desire to have the job

Example Sentences

A raise in employee wages might stimulate production. The economy was not stimulated by the tax cuts. a hormone that stimulates the growth of muscle tissue Their discussion stimulated him to research the subject more. He was stimulated by their discussion.
Recent Examples on the Web Companies now are aggressively marking down their excess goods to stimulate customer demand. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 15 Oct. 2022 The hope is to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and aid in recovery from the sustained lack of tourism during the pandemic. Jane Thier, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2022 The idea is not to stimulate growth, but to slow it. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 But recent studies suggest vasopressin has another purpose, which is to stimulate fat production. Richard Johnson, The Conversation, 22 Aug. 2022 But recent studies suggest vasopressin has another purpose, which is to stimulate fat production. The Conversation, oregonlive, 22 Aug. 2022 The purpose of the needles is to stimulate points to promote the body's natural healing processes. Jackie Martin, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 July 2022 The Fed, the Trump administration and the Biden administration all moved aggressively to stimulate demand after Covid struck. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 New government regulations are also likely to stimulate demand for ethical products and services in the future. Steve Varley, Quartz, 14 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stimulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Latin stimulatus, past participle of stimulare, from stimulus goad; perhaps akin to Latin stilus stem, stylus — more at style

First Known Use

1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stimulate was in 1566

Dictionary Entries Near stimulate

Cite this Entry

“Stimulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stimulate. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

stimulate

verb

stim·​u·​late ˈstim-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce stimulate (audio)
stimulated; stimulating
1
: to make active or more active : animate, arouse
stimulate industry
2
: to act on as a bodily stimulus or stimulant

Medical Definition

stimulate

transitive verb

stim·​u·​late -ˌlāt How to pronounce stimulate (audio)
stimulated; stimulating
1
: to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity
2
a
: to function as a physiological stimulus to (as a nerve or muscle)
b
: to arouse or affect by a stimulant (as a drug)
stimulative adjective
stimulatory adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on stimulate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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