[ im-puhls ]
/ ˈɪm pʌls /
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See synonyms for: impulse / impulses on Thesaurus.com



marked by or acting on impulse: an impulse buyer.
bought or acquired on impulse: To reduce expenses, shun impulse items when shopping.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of impulse

1640–50; <Latin impulsus pressure, impulse, equivalent to im-im-1 + pul- (variant stem of pellere to push) + -sus, variant of -tus suffix of v. action
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for impulse

/ (ˈɪmpʌls) /


C17: from Latin impulsus a pushing against, incitement, from impellere to strike against; see impel
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

Medical definitions for impulse

[ ĭmpŭls′ ]


A sudden pushing or driving force.
A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination.
The electrochemical transmission of a signal along a nerve fiber that produces an excitatory or inhibitory response at a target tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for impulse

[ ĭmpŭls′ ]

A sudden flow of electrical current in one direction.
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.
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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