[ stim-yuh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: stimulatestimulatedstimulatesstimulating on

verb (used with object),stim·u·lat·ed, stim·u·lat·ing.
  1. to rouse to action or effort, as by encouragement or pressure; spur on; incite: A childhood summer learning program was the first thing to stimulate his interest in mathematics.

  2. Physiology, Medicine/Medical. to excite (a nerve, gland, etc.) to its functional activity.

  1. to invigorate (a person) by a food or beverage containing a stimulant such as coffee or tea.

verb (used without object),stim·u·lat·ed, stim·u·lat·ing.
  1. to act as a stimulus or stimulant.

Origin of stimulate

First recorded in 1540–50; from Latin stimulāt(us) “goaded” (past participle of stimulāre “to goad, incite,” from stimulus stimulus ); see -ate1

synonym study For stimulate

1. See animate.

Other words for stimulate

Other words from stimulate

  • stim·u·la·ble, adjective
  • stim·u·la·bil·i·ty [stim-yuh-luh-bil-i-tee], /ˌstɪm yə ləˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • stim·u·la·tion [stim-yuh-ley-shuhn], /ˌstɪm yəˈleɪ ʃən/, noun
  • stim·u·la·tor, stim·u·lat·er, noun
  • in·ter·stim·u·late, verb (used with object), in·ter·stim·u·lat·ed, in·ter·stim·u·lat·ing.
  • non·stim·u·la·ble, adjective
  • o·ver·stim·u·late, verb, o·ver·stim·u·lat·ed, o·ver·stim·u·lat·ing.
  • pre·stim·u·late, verb (used with object), pre·stim·u·lat·ed, pre·stim·u·lat·ing.
  • re·stim·u·late, verb (used with object), re·stim·u·lat·ed, re·stim·u·lat·ing.
  • self-stim·u·lat·ed, adjective
  • su·per·stim·u·late, verb (used with object), su·per·stim·u·lat·ed, su·per·stim·u·lat·ing.
  • un·stim·u·la·ble, adjective
  • un·stim·u·lat·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with stimulate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stimulate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stimulate


/ (ˈstɪmjʊˌleɪt) /

  1. (tr; usually passive) to fill (a person) with ideas or enthusiasm: he was stimulated by the challenge

  2. (tr) physiol to excite (a nerve, organ, etc) with a stimulus

  1. to encourage (something) to start or progress further: a cut in interest rates should help stimulate economic recovery

Origin of stimulate

C16: from Latin stimulāre; see stimulant

Derived forms of stimulate

  • stimulable, adjective
  • stimulation, noun
  • stimulative, adjective, noun
  • stimulator or stimulater, 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