Impulse definition

ĭmpŭls
Frequency:
A motivating force or tendency.
noun
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(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.
noun
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(electronics) A surge of electrical power in one direction.
noun
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Characterized by impulsiveness or acting on impulse.

An impulse shopper; impulse buying.

adjective
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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.

noun
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(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.
noun
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An impelling force; an impetus.
noun
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The motion produced by such a force.
noun
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(elec.) A momentary surge in one direction of voltage or current.
noun
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(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.
noun
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(physiol.) The progressive wave of excitation over a muscle or nerve fiber, which causes or inhibits activity in the body.
noun
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An impelling, or driving forward with sudden force.
noun
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An impelling force; sudden, driving force; push; thrust; impetus.
noun
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The motion or effect caused by such a force.
noun
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Incitement to action arising from a state of mind or some external stimulus.
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A sudden inclination to act, usually without premeditation.

An impulse purchase.

noun
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A motive or tendency coming from within.

Prompted by an impulse of curiosity.

noun
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(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.
noun
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A sudden flow of electrical current in one direction.
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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.
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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.
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A thrust; a push; a sudden force that impels.
noun
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A wish or urge, particularly a sudden one prompting action.

The impulse to learn drove me to study night and day.

When I saw the new dictionary, I couldn't resist the impulse to browse through it.

noun
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(physics) The integral of force over time.

The total impulse from the impact will depend on the kinetic energy of the bullet.

noun
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(obsolete) To impel; to incite.

verb
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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.

noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
impulse
Plural:
impulses

Origin of impulse

  • Latin impulsus from past participle of impellere to impel impel

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

  • For spelling, as in pulse, the -e (on -lse) is so the end is pronounced /ls/, rather than /lz/ as in pulls, and does not change the vowel (‘u’). Compare else, false, convulse.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle French impulser, from Latin impulsus.

    From Wiktionary