[ puhl-seyt ]
/ ˈpʌl seɪt /

verb (used without object), pul·sat·ed, pul·sat·ing.

to expand and contract rhythmically, as the heart; beat; throb.
to vibrate; quiver.

Origin of pulsate

1785–95; < Latin pulsātus, past participle of pulsāre to batter, strike, make (strings) vibrate. See pulse1, -ate1
Related formsnon·pul·sat·ing, adjectiveun·pul·sat·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. Pulsate, beat, palpitate, throb refer to the recurrent vibratory movement of the heart, the pulse, etc. To pulsate is to move in a definite rhythm, temporarily or for a longer duration: Blood pulsates in the arteries. To beat is to repeat a vibration or pulsation regularly for some time: One's heart beats many times a minute. To palpitate is to beat at a rapid rate, often producing a flutter: to palpitate with excitement. To throb is to beat with an unusual force that is often associated with pain or heightened emotion or sensation: to throb with terror.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pulsate

British Dictionary definitions for pulsate


/ (pʌlˈseɪt) /

verb (intr)

to expand and contract with a rhythmic beat; throb
physics to vary in intensity, magnitude, size, etcthe current was pulsating
to quiver or vibrate

Derived Formspulsative (ˈpʌlsətɪv), adjectivepulsatively, adverb

Word Origin for pulsate

C18: from Latin pulsāre to push
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

Medicine definitions for pulsate


[ pŭlsāt′ ]


To expand and contract rhythmically; beat.

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