- 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 stimulus
Supporters of the president argue these trends are inevitable and the Stimulus made a terrible situation better.What the GOP Will Do If It Wins Congress
October 3, 2014
First, they let the stimulus boost expire, which that meant an average family of three receiving benefits lost $29 per month.Congress Unites to Screw the Hungry
September 8, 2014
The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street.Dawn of the Age of Oligarchy: the Alliance between Government and the 1%
June 28, 2014
And still—an auto-bailout, a health care bill, a stimulus, the regular lifting of the debt ceiling, defense and budget deals.‘Breaking Bad’ in the White House: Bryan Cranston as LBJ in 'All the Way'
March 7, 2014
Stripped of any stimulus, the expressions of this first group of people expose their true consciousness (theoretically, at least).‘Visitors’ Is Staring At You
January 25, 2014
She would want his companionship and the stimulus of his mind, in hers.Her Father's Daughter
Her distress was a new gratification and stimulus to her betrayer.Imogen
The stimulus to variation may have come from the mother as well as the father.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
Isolation from the mother country was a stimulus to the inventive imagination.The American Mind
Expose him to the stimulus of necessity in an unsettled country.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
- 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 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.