[puhl-sey-shuh n]


the act of pulsating; beating or throbbing.
a beat or throb, as of the pulse.
vibration or undulation.
a single vibration.

Origin of pulsation

1375–1425; late Middle English pulsacioun < Latin pulsātiōn- (stem of pulsātiō). See pulsate, -ion
Related formsnon·pul·sa·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pulsation

Historical Examples of pulsation

  • Or the pulsation may be simply observed in the rise and fall of a liquid in a tube.

    The Silent Bullet

    Arthur B. Reeve

  • Death is not even a blow, it is not even a pulsation; it is a pause.

  • Music probably can mean little to her but beat and pulsation.

    Story of My Life

    Helen Keller

  • Action is discontinuous, like every pulsation of life; discontinuous, therefore, is knowledge.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • His hand was eagerly searching for some pulsation at the heart.

    Cruel As The Grave

    Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth

British Dictionary definitions for pulsation



the act of pulsating
physiol a rhythmic beating or pulsing esp of the heart or an artery
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

Word Origin and History for pulsation

early 15c., from Middle French pulsation (14c.) and directly from Latin pulsationem (nominative pulsatio) "a beating or striking," noun of action from past participle stem of pulsare "to beat, strike, push against' hammer, keep hitting," figuratively "drive forth, disturb, disquiet," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to beat, strike" (see pulse (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pulsation in Medicine




The act of pulsating.
A single beat, throb, or vibration.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.