- The definition of an impulse is a strong urge or unexplainable urge.
- An example of impulse is when you suddenly have the urge to go to Vegas.
- An example of impulse is when you purchase something without thinking about it.
impulse definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- an impelling, or driving forward with sudden force
- an impelling force; sudden, driving force; push; thrust; impetus
- the motion or effect caused by such a force
- incitement to action arising from a state of mind or some external stimulus
- a sudden inclination to act, usually without premeditation
- a motive or tendency coming from within: prompted by an impulse of curiosity
- Elec. a momentary surge in one direction of voltage or current
- Mech. the change in momentum effected by a force, measured by multiplying the average value of the force by the time during which it acts
- Physiol. the progressive wave of excitation over a muscle or nerve fiber, which causes or inhibits activity in the body
Origin: Classical Latin impulsus ; from past participle of impellere: see impel
impulse definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- a. An impelling force; an impetus.b. The motion produced by such a force.
- A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination: had an impulse to run away; an impulse of regret that made me hesitate; bought a hat on impulse.
- A motivating force or tendency: “Respect for the liberty of others is not a natural impulse in most men” (Bertrand Russell).
- Electronics A surge of electrical power in one direction.
- Physics The product obtained by multiplying the average value of a force by the time during which it acts. The impulse equals the change in momentum produced by the force in this time interval.
- Physiology The electrochemical transmission of a signal along a nerve fiber that produces an excitatory or inhibitory response at a target tissue, such as a muscle or another nerve.
Characterized by impulsiveness or acting on impulse: an impulse shopper; impulse buying.
Origin: Latin impulsus, from past participle of impellere, to impel; see impel.
impulse - Medical Definition
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- A sudden pushing or driving force.
- A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination.
- The electrochemical transmission of a signal along a nerve fiber that produces an excitatory or inhibitory response at a target tissue.
impulse - Science Definition
- A sudden flow of electrical current in one direction.
- An electrical signal traveling along the axon of a neuron. Nerve impulses excite or inhibit activity in other neurons or in the tissues of the body, such as muscles and glands.
- The change of momentum of a body or physical system over a time interval in classical mechanics, equal to the force applied times the length of the time interval over which it is applied.