stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus | \ ˈstim-yə-ləs How to pronounce stimulus (audio) \
plural stimuli\ ˈstim-​yə-​ˌlī How to pronounce stimulus (audio) , -​ˌlē \

Essential Meaning of stimulus

1 : something that causes something else to happen, develop, or become more active The pay raise was a stimulus for production. an economic stimulus plan
2 : something that causes a change or a reaction Heat and light are physical stimuli. The dog responded to the stimulus of the ringing bell.

Full Definition of stimulus

: something that rouses or incites to activity: such as
a : incentive
c : an agent (such as an environmental change) that directly influences the activity of a living organism or one of its parts (as by exciting a sensory organ or evoking muscular contraction or glandular secretion)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of stimulus in a Sentence

The pay raise was a stimulus for production. Heat and light are physical stimuli. The dog responded to the stimulus of the ringing bell.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Could Social Security recipients get another $1,400 stimulus check? Chris Morris, Fortune, 11 Oct. 2021 Households have a cushion of savings from federal stimulus checks and unemployment insurance. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, 10 Oct. 2021 By delivering stimulus checks, child tax payments, child hunger benefits, and more, the Biden administration has effectively raised the income floor for America’s workers. Faiz Shakir, The New Republic, 8 Oct. 2021 There is no direct legislation in the pipeline for a fourth stimulus check as Congress has focused on more targeted efforts. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 30 Sep. 2021 Council so far has passed two pieces of legislation for stimulus spending: $5 million for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and $20 million for an ambiguous broadband plan. Robin Goist, cleveland, 30 Sep. 2021 Real estate is the sector that’s most pivotal to Beijing’s periodic efforts to pump up gross domestic product via monetary stimulus and regulatory inducements. William Pesek, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Unlike previous rounds of stimulus that involved direct payments, this one will be administered through grants to state and non-profit assistance agencies. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 28 Sep. 2021 Traditional forms of stimulus that seek to stoke demand won’t help them. New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of stimulus

1684, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stimulus

Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About stimulus

Time Traveler for stimulus

Time Traveler

The first known use of stimulus was in 1684

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near stimulus

stimulogenous

stimulus

stimulus diffusion

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stimulus

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stimulus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stimulus. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stimulus

stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus | \ ˈsti-myə-ləs How to pronounce stimulus (audio) \
plural stimuli\ -​ˌlī , -​ˌlē \

Kids Definition of stimulus

1 : something that stirs or urges to action The reward was a stimulus for greater effort.
2 : an influence that acts usually from outside the body to partly change bodily activity (as by exciting a receptor or sense organ) Light, heat, and sound are common physical stimuli.

stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus | \ ˈstim-yə-ləs How to pronounce stimulus (audio) \
plural stimuli\ -​ˌlī How to pronounce stimulus (audio) , -​ˌlē How to pronounce stimulus (audio) \

Medical Definition of stimulus

2 : an agent (as an environmental change) that directly influences the activity of living protoplasm (as by exciting a sensory organ or evoking muscular contraction or glandular secretion) a visual stimulus

More from Merriam-Webster on stimulus

Nglish: Translation of stimulus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stimulus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stimulus

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!