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Inherited from Late Latin impulsāre, from Latin in + pulsāre, present active infinitive of pulsō, or a frequentative of impellō, impellere. Doublet of impulsar, a later borrowing.


  • IPA(key): /empuˈxaɾ/ [ẽm.puˈxaɾ]
  • Rhymes: -aɾ
  • Syllabification: em‧pu‧jar


empujar (first-person singular present empujo, first-person singular preterite empujé, past participle empujado)

  1. (transitive) to push, to shove, to jostle
    Synonym: (obsolete) arrempujar
  2. to nudge (push into action by pestering or annoying a person)
    Le empujó con el codo de una manera muy dolorosa.
    She nudged him with her elbow in a very painful manner.

Usage notes[edit]

If wanting to say nudge in a gentle sense, use the phrase darle un empujoncito a or darle un codazo a. Only use the verb empujar for "nudge" when meaning a person is nudging someone forcefully or annoyingly where it is strong enough for someone to be disturbed by it.


Related terms[edit]


  • Portuguese: empurrar

Further reading[edit]