stimulus

noun

stim·​u·​lus ˈstim-yə-ləs How to pronounce stimulus (audio)
plural stimuli ˈstim-yə-ˌlī How to pronounce stimulus (audio)
-ˌlē
: something that rouses or incites to activity: such as
a
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)

Example Sentences

The pay raise was a stimulus for production. Heat and light are physical stimuli. The dog responded to the stimulus of the ringing bell.
Recent Examples on the Web The supplemental spending bill appropriates $240 million in American Rescue Plan dollars, the federal stimulus package that provided money to states and municipalities to help communities recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Detroit Free Press, 31 Jan. 2023 The county has some pandemic relief money available for broadband expansion through the 2021 stimulus package, Rothschild said, and will apply for other state and federal grants. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Jan. 2023 Congress adopted its first, large stimulus package in March 2020, responding to historic joblessness and a plummeting stock market with the roughly $2 trillion package known as the Cares Act. Yeganeh Torbati, Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2022 Congress adopted its first, large stimulus package in March 2020, responding to historic joblessness and a plummeting stock market with the roughly $2 trillion package known as the Cares Act. Tony Romm And Yeganeh Torbati, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Dec. 2022 That roadmap, which was passed in 2021 as a stimulus package to help jump-start the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, has already provided billions of dollars in rental assistance to help keep people off the streets. Justin Klawans, The Week, 22 Dec. 2022 The new tax policy was tucked into the stimulus package known as the American Rescue Plan, which Democrats passed in 2021. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, 21 Dec. 2022 The money was included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package in 2021. Scott Mcfetridge, USA TODAY, 10 Dec. 2022 The money was included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package in 2021. Scott Mcfetridge, Chicago Tribune, 6 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Latin

First Known Use

1684, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stimulus was in 1684

Dictionary Entries Near stimulus

Cite this Entry

“Stimulus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stimulus. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

stimulus

noun
stim·​u·​lus ˈstim-yə-ləs How to pronounce stimulus (audio)
plural stimuli -ˌlī How to pronounce stimulus (audio)
-ˌlē
1
: something that rouses or stirs to action : incentive
2
: something (as an environmental change) that acts to partly change bodily activity (as by exciting a sensory organ)
heat, light, and sound are common physical stimuli

Medical Definition

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)
1
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

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