impulse

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See also: impulsé and Impulse

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French impulser, from Latin impulsus.

For spelling, as in pulse, the -e (on -lse) is so the end is pronounced /ls/, rather than /lz/ as in pulls, and does not change the vowel (‘u’). Compare else, false, convulse.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɪmpʌls/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: im‧pulse

Noun[edit]

impulse (plural impulses)

  1. A thrust; a push; a sudden force that impels.
  2. A wish or urge, particularly a sudden one prompting action.
    The impulse to learn drove me to study night and day.
    When I saw the new book, I couldn't resist the impulse to browse through it.
    • 1692?, John Dryden, Sylvae (translations), Preface
      These were my natural impulses for the undertaking.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      Tony's face expressed relief, and Nettie sat silent for a moment until the vicar said “It was a generous impulse, but it may have been a momentary one, [] .”
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 218:
      An impulse urged him to plant a sudden blow on it, by he forced himself to consider the impolicy of such an act.
  3. (physics) The integral of force over time.
    The total impulse from the impact will depend on the kinetic energy of the bullet.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

impulse (third-person singular simple present impulses, present participle impulsing, simple past and past participle impulsed)

  1. (obsolete) To impel; to incite.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)

References[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

impulse

  1. first-person singular present indicative of impulser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of impulser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of impulser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of impulser
  5. second-person singular imperative of impulser

Italian[edit]

Verb[edit]

impulse

  1. third-person singular past historic of impellere

Latin[edit]

Participle[edit]

impulse

  1. vocative masculine singular of impulsus

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

impulse m (plural impulses)

  1. push, shove

Verb[edit]

impulse

  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of impulsar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of impulsar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of impulsar.