stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus | \ ˈstim-yə-ləs \
plural stimuli\ ˈstim-​yə-​ˌlī , -​ˌlē \

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)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Analysts were parsing signs of more stimulus in China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, amid fears of a sharp growth slowdown. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Shares Finish Higher After Earnings Reports," 23 Jan. 2019 The central bank will cut stimulus in half after September, and end it altogether after December. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "As Uncertainty Clouds Economy, Europe Pulls Back on Easy Money," 14 June 2018 By bringing the bond purchases to an end, the ECB is following the same path as the U.S. Federal Reserve in withdrawing stimulus deployed to overcome the persistent effects of the global financial crisis and Great Recession a decade ago. David Mchugh, The Seattle Times, "European Central Bank sticks to plan to end stimulus," 25 Oct. 2018 Mario Draghi, the central bank’s president, also held out the possibility that policy makers could still ramp up stimulus if needed. Jack Ewing, BostonGlobe.com, "Era of easy money for eurozone nears its end," 14 June 2018 Take, for example, experiments in which different stimuli are presented to the right and the left eyes. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018 Meanwhile, urged on by U.S. officials, Japan embarked on a quick stimulus program to boost imports. Peter Landers, WSJ, "The Old U.S. Trade War With Japan Looms Over Today’s Dispute With China," 13 Dec. 2018 In addition, nearly a quarter reported that certain stimuli (like engine noises) startled them and caused flashbacks. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Pearl Harbor Still Holds a Few Mysteries," 7 Dec. 2018 The central bank for the 19 countries that use the euro left its key interest rates and the end-date for its stimulus program unchanged at its meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. David Mchugh, The Seattle Times, "European Central Bank sticks to plan to end stimulus," 25 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stimulus

1684, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stimulus

Latin

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Statistics for stimulus

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stimulus

The first known use of stimulus was in 1684

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More Definitions for stimulus

stimulus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stimulus

: something that causes something else to happen, develop, or become more active
: something that causes a change or a reaction

stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus | \ ˈsti-myə-ləs \
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 \
plural stimuli\ -​ˌlī , -​ˌlē \

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

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