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See also: ímpetus



Borrowed from Latin impetus (a rushing upon, an attack, assault, onset), from impetō (to rush upon, attack), from in- (upon) + petō (to seek, fall upon).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɪm.pə.təs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: im‧pe‧tus


impetus (plural impetuses)

  1. Anything that impels; a stimulating factor.
    The outbreak of World War II in 1939 gave a new impetus to receiver development.
    • 2011, Phil McNulty, Euro 2012: Montenegro 2-2 England [1]
      In a single moment Montenegro and their supporters were given fresh impetus and encouragement. Beciraj tested Hart with a low shot before teenager Phil Jones, on his England debut, suffered an anxious moment when Stevan Jovetic went down under his challenge, leaving the youngster clearly relieved to see referee Stark wave away Montenegro's appeals.
  2. A force, either internal or external, that impels; an impulse.
  3. The force or energy associated with a moving body; a stimulus.
  4. An activity in response to a stimulus.

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]




From impetō (to rush upon, attack), from in- (upon) + petō (to seek, fall upon).



impetus m (genitive impetūs); fourth declension

  1. an attack, an assault, a charge
    • Caesar, de Bello Gallico VII, 28:
      Ultimas oppidi partes Continenti impetu petiverunt
      By uninterrupted charge they rushed into the utmost parts of the town
  2. a rapid motion
  3. a making for


Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative impetus impetūs
Genitive impetūs impetuum
Dative impetuī impetibus
Accusative impetum impetūs
Ablative impetū impetibus
Vocative impetus impetūs


  • English: impetus
  • German: Impetus
  • Italian: impeto
  • Piedmontese: ìmpit
  • Portuguese: ímpeto
  • Spanish: ímpetu


  • impetus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • impetus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • impetus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • impetus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to have no principles: caeco impetu ferri
    • to attack the enemy: invadere, impetum facere in hostem
    • to resist the attack, onset: impetum sustinere (B. G. 1. 26)
    • to parry the attack: impetum excipere (Liv. 6. 12)
  • impetus in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.