Impetus meaning

ĭm'pĭ-təs
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.

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An impelling force; an impulse.
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The force or energy associated with a moving body.
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Anything that stimulates activity; driving force or motive; incentive; impulse.
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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.
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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.

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