stimulate

verb stim·u·late \ -ˌlāt \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of stimulate

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

play \ˌstim-yə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

stimulative

play \ˈstim-yə-ˌlā-tiv\ adjective

stimulator

play \-ˌlā-tər\ noun

stimulatory

play \-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

Examples of stimulate in a Sentence

  1. A raise in employee wages might stimulate production.

  2. The economy was not stimulated by the tax cuts.

  3. a hormone that stimulates the growth of muscle tissue

  4. Their discussion stimulated him to research the subject more.

  5. He was stimulated by their discussion.

Recent Examples of stimulate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of stimulate

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

STIMULATE Defined for English Language Learners

stimulate

verb

Definition of stimulate for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) more active : to cause or encourage (something) to happen or develop

  • : to make (a person) excited or interested in something


STIMULATE Defined for Kids

stimulate

verb stim·u·late \ ˈsti-myə-ˌlāt \

Definition of stimulate for Students

stimulated; stimulating
1 :to make active or more active :arouse
  • The advertisements stimulated interest in the new product.
2 :to act on as a bodily stimulus or stimulant
  • Caffeine stimulates the nervous system.

Medical Dictionary

stimulate

transitive verb stim·u·late \ -ˌlāt \

medical Definition of stimulate

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

play \ˈstim-yə-ˌlāt-iv\ adjective

stimulatory

play \-lə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-\ adjective


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stimulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a blind with adjustable horizontal slats

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!