Synonym Chooser

How is the word impulsive distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of impulsive are automatic, instinctive, mechanical, and spontaneous. While all these words mean "acting or activated without deliberation," impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment.

impulsive acts of violence

In what contexts can automatic take the place of impulsive?

The words automatic and impulsive can be used in similar contexts, but automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response.

his denial was automatic

When is instinctive a more appropriate choice than impulsive?

In some situations, the words instinctive and impulsive are roughly equivalent. However, instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will.

blinking is an instinctive reaction

When can mechanical be used instead of impulsive?

Although the words mechanical and impulsive have much in common, mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response.

a mechanical teaching method

When might spontaneous be a better fit than impulsive?

While in some cases nearly identical to impulsive, spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness.

a spontaneous burst of applause

Thesaurus Entries Near impulsive

Cite this Entry

“Impulsive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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