[ im-puhls ]
/ ˈɪm pʌls /



marked by or acting on impulse: an impulse buyer.
bought or acquired on impulse: To reduce expenses, shun impulse items when shopping.

Origin of impulse

1640–50; < Latin impulsus pressure, impulse, equivalent to im- im-1 + pul- (variant stem of pellere to push) + -sus, variant of -tus suffix of v. action

Example sentences from the Web for impulse

British Dictionary definitions for impulse

/ (ˈɪmpʌls) /


Word Origin for impulse

C17: from Latin impulsus a pushing against, incitement, from impellere to strike against; see impel

Medical definitions for impulse

[ ĭmpŭls′ ]


A sudden pushing or driving force.
A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination.
The electrochemical transmission of a signal along a nerve fiber that produces an excitatory or inhibitory response at a target tissue.

Scientific definitions for impulse

[ ĭmpŭls′ ]

A sudden flow of electrical current in one direction.
An electrical signal traveling along the axon of a neuron. Nerve impulses excite or inhibit activity in other neurons or in the tissues of the body, such as muscles and glands.
The change of momentum of a body or physical system over a time interval in classical mechanics, equal to the force applied times the length of the time interval over which it is applied.