[ im-puhl-siv ]
/ ɪmˈpʌl sɪv /
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See synonyms for: impulsive / impulsively / impulsiveness on Thesaurus.com


actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses: an impulsive child.
having the power or effect of impelling; characterized by impulsion: impulsive forces.
inciting to action: the impulsive effects of a revolutionary idea.
Mechanics. (of forces) acting momentarily; not continuous.



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 impulsive

First recorded in 1375–1425 for an earlier sense; 1545–55 for current senses; late Middle English impulsif, from Medieval Latin impulsīvus; see origin at impulse, -ive
1. See impetuous.
1. compulsive, impulsive 2. impetuous, impulsive (see synonym study at impetuous)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for impulsive

/ (ɪmˈpʌlsɪv) /


characterized by actions based on sudden desires, whims, or inclinations rather than careful thoughtan impulsive man
based on emotional impulses or whims; spontaneousan impulsive kiss
forceful, inciting, or impelling
(of physical forces) acting for a short time; not continuous
(of a sound) brief, loud, and having a wide frequency range
impulsively, adverbimpulsiveness, noun
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 impulsive

[ ĭm-pŭlsĭv ]


Inclined or tending to act on impulse rather than thought.
Motivated by or resulting from impulse.
im•pulsive•ness null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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