[ puhl-seyt ]
See synonyms for pulsate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),pul·sat·ed, pul·sat·ing.
  1. to expand and contract rhythmically, as the heart; beat; throb.

  2. to vibrate; quiver.

Origin of pulsate

1785–95; <Latin pulsātus, past participle of pulsāre to batter, strike, make (strings) vibrate. See pulse1, -ate1

synonym study For pulsate

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.

Other words for pulsate

Other words from pulsate

  • non·pul·sat·ing, adjective
  • un·pul·sat·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pulsate in a sentence

  • From shore to shore of the continent a chorus more seductive than sirens' songs pulsates on the breezes.

    North America | Israel C. Russell
  • Soon a thrush or a warbler awakens in full song, and is followed by a host of other voices, until the air pulsates with music.

    North America | Israel C. Russell

British Dictionary definitions for pulsate


/ (pʌlˈseɪt) /

  1. to expand and contract with a rhythmic beat; throb

  2. physics to vary in intensity, magnitude, size, etc: the current was pulsating

  1. to quiver or vibrate

Origin of pulsate

C18: from Latin pulsāre to push

Derived forms of pulsate

  • pulsative (ˈpʌlsətɪv), adjective
  • pulsatively, adverb

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