- something that incites to action or exertion or quickens action, feeling, thought, etc.: The approval of others is a potent stimulus.
- Physiology, Medicine/Medical. something that excites an organism or part to functional activity.
Origin of stimulus
SynonymsSee more synonyms for stimulus on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stimuli
Should there be another stimulus—the third, after the Bush and first Obama stimuli?Economic Deathmatch
October 24, 2010
He was simply the most tremendous response to stimuli I have ever known.Alexander's Bridge and The Barrel Organ
Willa Cather and Alfred Noyes
It responded to its stimuli, whenever they came and whatever their source.Watchbird
It seemed as if her spirit were no longer able to respond to the stimuli of life on earth.A Labrador Doctor
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
The stimuli may be applied to, or may act upon, any part of the nerve.Special Report on Diseases of the Horse
United States Department of Agriculture
In such a case we call the engrams of the two stimuli "associated."The Analysis of Mind
- something that stimulates or acts as an incentive
- any drug, agent, electrical impulse, or other factor able to cause a response in an organism
- an object or event that is apprehended by the senses
- med a former name for stimulant
Word Origin and History for stimuli
Latinate plural of stimulus.
plural stimuli, 1680s, originally as a medical term, "something that goads a lazy organ" (often the male member), from Modern Latin stimulus "goad" (see stimulation). General sense is from 1791. Psychological sense is first recorded 1894.
- A stimulant.
- That which can elicit or evoke an action or response in a cell, an excitable tissue, or an organism.
- Physiology Something that can elicit or evoke a physiological response in a cell, a tissue, or an organism. A stimulus can be internal or external. Sense organs, such as the ear, and sensory receptors, such as those in the skin, are sensitive to external stimuli such as sound and touch.
- Something that has an impact or an effect on an organism so that its behavior is modified in a detectable way. See more at classical conditioning.
plur. stimuli (stim-yuh-leye)
An action, condition, or person that provokes a response, especially a conditioned response.