(noun, verb)


1. an instinctive motive

- profound religious impulses

Similar word(s): urge

Definition categories: motive, motivation, need

2. a sudden desire

- he bought it on an impulse

Similar word(s): caprice, whim

Definition categories: feeling, desire

3. the electrical discharge that travels along a nerve fiber

- they demonstrated the transmission of impulses from the cortex to the hypothalamus

Definition categories: event

4. (electronics) a sharp transient wave in the normal electrical state (or a series of such transients)

Similar word(s): pulsation, pulse, pulsing

Definition categories: event, undulation, wave

5. the act of applying force suddenly

- the impulse knocked him over

Similar word(s): impetus, impulsion

Definition categories: act, drive, thrust

6. an impelling force or strength

Similar word(s): momentum

Definition categories: attribute, force, forcefulness, strength

Sentences with impulse as a noun:

- The impulse to learn drove me to study night and day.

- When I saw the new dictionary, I couldn't resist the impulse to browse through it.

- The total impulse from the impact will depend on the kinetic energy of the bullet.


1. (obsolete) To impel; to incite.