(noun, adjective)


1. proceeding from natural feeling or impulse without external stimulus

- an impulsive gesture of affection

Similar word(s): spontaneous, unprompted

2. without forethought

- letting him borrow her car was an impulsive act that she immediately regretted

Similar word(s): unpremeditated

3. having the power of driving or impelling

- an impulsive force

Similar word(s): dynamic, dynamical, driving

4. determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason

Similar word(s): arbitrary, capricious, whimsical

5. characterized by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation

- liable to such impulsive acts as hugging strangers

Similar word(s): incautious, brainish, hotheaded, impetuous, madcap, tearaway


1. That which impels or gives an impulse; an impelling agent.

2. One whose behaviour or personality is characterized by being impulsive.