Impetus definition

ĭmpĭ-təs
Frequency:
Anything that stimulates activity; driving force or motive; incentive; impulse.
noun
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An impelling force; an impulse.
noun
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2
The force or energy associated with a moving body.
noun
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3
The definition of impetus is the force that makes something happen or that makes a body move.

If someone calls you stupid and this prompts you to go back to college, this comment was an example of the impetus you needed to go back to college.

noun
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The force with which a body moves against resistance, resulting from its mass and the velocity at which it is set in motion.
noun
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Something that impels, a stimulating factor.

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 gave a new impetus to receiver development.

noun
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Something that incites; a stimulus.
noun
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Increased activity in response to a stimulus.

The approaching deadline gave impetus to the investigation.

noun
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A force, either internal or external, that impels; an impulse.
noun
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The force or energy associated with a moving body; a stimulus.
noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
impetus
Plural:
impetuses

Origin of impetus

  • Middle English impetous from Latin impetus from impetere to attack in- against in–2 petere to go towards, seek pet- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin impetus (“a rushing upon, an attack, assault, onset”), from impetere (“to rush upon, attack”), from in (“upon”) + petere (“to seek, fall upon”).

    From Wiktionary