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[im-puhl-shuh n] /ɪmˈpʌl ʃən/
the act of impelling, driving onward, or pushing.
the resulting state or effect; impulse; impetus.
the inciting influence of some feeling or motive; mental impulse.
a constraining or inciting action exerted on the mind or conduct:
divine impulsion.
Origin of impulsion
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin impulsiōn- (stem of impulsiō) incitement. See impulse, -ion
Related forms
self-impulsion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impulsion
Historical Examples
  • It substitutes the attraction of the future for the impulsion of the past.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • It is due to an identity of impulsion and not to a common aspiration.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • But, the impulsion once received, mind continues its course.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • Agriculture, as well as industry, felt the impulsion of the new force.

  • Matter cannot have been produced by force, because force is nothing but the impulsion of matter.

    Ingersoll in Canada Allen Pringle
  • The carriage had eight wheels, two of which were large and gave the impulsion.

    Automobile Biographies

    Lyman Horace Weeks
  • Why should we be confined to employ only the power of impulsion?

    Buffon's Natural History, Volume II (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
  • The "inductive leap" is no leap away from logic, but the impulsion of logic's mainspring seen only in its legitimate event.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • In these drawings by Degas all the lines follow the impulsion of the thought.

  • But he overcame the impulsion, and waited to face what might be a danger the more.

    The Son of Clemenceau

    Alexandre (fils) Dumas
British Dictionary definitions for impulsion


the act of impelling or the state of being impelled
motion produced by an impulse; propulsion
a driving force; compulsion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impulsion

early 15c., "driving, pushing, thrusting," from Old French impulsion (early 14c.), from Latin impulsionem (nominative impulsio) "external pressure," figuratively "incitement, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of impellere (see impel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impulsion in Medicine

impulsion im·pul·sion (ĭm-pŭl'shən)
An urge to perform certain actions without regard for internal or social constraints.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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