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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[puhls] /pʌls/
the regular throbbing of the arteries, caused by the successive contractions of the heart, especially as may be felt at an artery, as at the wrist.
a single pulsation, or beat or throb, of the arteries or heart.
the rhythmic recurrence of strokes, vibrations, or undulations.
a single stroke, vibration, or undulation.
Electricity. a momentary, sudden fluctuation in an electrical quantity, as in voltage or current.
Physics. a single, abrupt emission of particles or radiation.
a throb of life, emotion, etc.
the general attitude, sentiment, preference, etc., as of the public.
verb (used without object), pulsed, pulsing.
to beat or throb; pulsate.
to beat, vibrate, or undulate.
Physics. to emit particles or radiation periodically in short bursts.
verb (used with object), pulsed, pulsing.
to cause to pulse.
Medicine/Medical. to administer (medication) in interrupted, often concentrated dosages to avoid unwanted side effects.
Origin of pulse1
1300-50; < Latin pulsus a beat, equivalent to *peld-, base of pellere to set in motion by beating or striking (cf. impel) + -tus, suffix of v. action, with dt < s and backing and raising of e before velar l; replacing Middle English pous < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related forms
unpulsing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pulsing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His depression had gone, he seemed to draw vitality from her, to be informed with something of her own pulsing youth.

    The Drunkard Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • The pulsing of the nectocalyx occasions a flow of water into and out of the bell.

    The Dawn of Reason James Weir
  • Tonty leaned against the tree, pallor succeeding the pulsing of blood in his face.

    The Story of Tonty Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • Her thin neck throbbed with the pulsing of blood to her head.

  • So Carew and Meryl were left alone by the window, looking out into the pulsing southern night.

    The Rhodesian Gertrude Page
British Dictionary definitions for pulsing


  1. the rhythmic contraction and expansion of an artery at each beat of the heart, often discernible to the touch at points such as the wrists
  2. a single pulsation of the heart or arteries
(physics, electronics)
  1. a transient sharp change in voltage, current, or some other quantity normally constant in a system
  2. one of a series of such transient disturbances, usually recurring at regular intervals and having a characteristic geometric shape
  3. (as modifier): a pulse generator Less common name impulse
  1. a recurrent rhythmic series of beats, waves, vibrations, etc
  2. any single beat, wave, etc, in such a series
bustle, vitality, or excitement: the pulse of a city
the feelings or thoughts of a group or society as they can be measured: the pulse of the voters
keep one's finger on the pulse, to be well-informed about current events
(intransitive) to beat, throb, or vibrate
(transitive) to provide an electronic pulse to operate (a slide projector)
Derived Forms
pulseless, adjective
Word Origin
C14 pous, from Latin pulsus a beating, from pellere to beat


the edible seeds of any of several leguminous plants, such as peas, beans, and lentils
the plant producing any of these seeds
Word Origin
C13 pols, from Old French, from Latin puls pottage of pulse
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 pulsing



"a throb, a beat," early 14c., from Old French pous, pulse (late 12c., Modern French pouls) and directly from Latin pulsus (in pulsus venarum "beating from the blood in the veins"), past participle of pellere "to push, drive," from PIE *pel- (6) "to thrust, strike, drive" (cf. Greek pallein "to wield, brandish, swing," pelemizein "to shake, cause to tremble"). Extended usages from 16c. Figurative use for "life, vitality, essential energy" is from 1530s.

"peas, beans, lentils," late 13c., from Old French pouls, pols and directly from Latin puls "thick gruel, porridge, mush," probably via Etruscan, from Greek poltos "porridge" made from flour, from PIE *pel- (1) "dust, flour" (see pollen; also cf. poultice).


"to beat, throb," early 15c., from pulse (n.1) or else from Latin pulsare "to beat, throb," and in part from French. Related: Pulsed; pulsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pulsing in Medicine

pulse (pŭls)
The rhythmical dilation of arteries produced when blood is pumped outward by regular contractions of the heart, especially as palpated at the wrist or in the neck.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pulsing in Science
  1. The rhythmic expansion and contraction of the arteries as blood is pumped through them by the heart. The pulse can be felt at several parts of the body, as over the carotid and radial arteries.

  2. A dose of a medication or other substance given over a short period of time, usually repetitively.

    1. A brief sudden change in a normally constant quantity, such as an electric current or field.

    2. Any of a series of intermittent occurrences characterized by a brief sudden change in a quantity.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pulsing in the Bible

(Dan. 1:12, 16), R.V. "herbs," vegetable food in general.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with pulsing


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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