What does impulse mean?

Definitions for impulseˈɪm pʌls

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word impulse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. urge, impulse(noun)

    an instinctive motive

    "profound religious impulses"

  2. caprice, impulse, whim(noun)

    a sudden desire

    "he bought it on an impulse"

  3. nerve impulse, nervous impulse, neural impulse, impulse(noun)

    the electrical discharge that travels along a nerve fiber

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

  4. pulsation, pulsing, pulse, impulse(noun)

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

    "the pulsations seemed to be coming from a star"

  5. impulse, impulsion, impetus(noun)

    the act of applying force suddenly

    "the impulse knocked him over"

  6. momentum, impulse(noun)

    an impelling force or strength

    "the car's momentum carried it off the road"


  1. Impulse(n.)

    A mental force which simply and directly urges to action; hasty inclination; sudden motive; momentary or transient influence of appetite or passion; propension; incitement; as, a man of good impulses; passion often gives a violent impulse to the will; to buy something on impulse.

  2. Origin: [L. impulsus, fr. impellere. See Impel.]


  1. impulse(Noun)

    A thrust; a push; a sudden force that impels.

  2. impulse(Noun)

    A wish or urge, particularly a sudden one.

  3. impulse(Noun)

    The integral of force over time.

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

  4. Origin: From impulsus.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Impulse(noun)

    the act of impelling, or driving onward with sudden force; impulsion; especially, force so communicated as to produced motion suddenly, or immediately

  2. Impulse(noun)

    the effect of an impelling force; motion produced by a sudden or momentary force

  3. Impulse(noun)

    the action of a force during a very small interval of time; the effect of such action; as, the impulse of a sudden blow upon a hard elastic body

  4. Impulse(noun)

    a mental force which simply and directly urges to action; hasty inclination; sudden motive; momentary or transient influence of appetite or passion; propension; incitement; as, a man of good impulses; passion often gives a violent impulse to the will

  5. Impulse(verb)

    to impel; to incite

  6. Origin: [See Impel.]


  1. Impulse

    In classical mechanics, impulse is defined as the integral of a force with respect to time, which gives you the change in the momentum of the body being acted on by the force. A force causes acceleration, a change in the velocity of the body, for as long as it acts. A force applied over a long time therefore produces a bigger change in momentum than the same force applied briefly: the change in momentum is equal to the product of force and time. Conversely, a small force applied for a long time can produce the same change in momentum - the same impulse - as a large force applied briefly. The SI unit of impulse is the newton second; the quantity of impulse is force × time interval, or in shorthand notation:

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Impulse

    im′puls, n. the act of impelling: effect of an impelling force: force suddenly communicated: influence on the mind.—n. Impul′sion, impelling force: instigation.—adj. Impuls′ive, having the power of impelling: actuated by mental impulse: (mech.) acting by impulse: not continuous.—adv. Impuls′ively.—n. Impuls′iveness. [L. impulsus, pressure—impellĕre.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Impulse

    (a) An electro-magnetic impulse is the impulse produced upon the luminiferous ether by an oscillatory discharge or other varying type of current; the impulse is supposed to be identical, except as regards wave-length, with a light wave. (b) An electro-motive impulse is the electro-motive force which rises so high as to produce an impulsive or oscillatory discharge, such as that of a Leyden jar.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'impulse' in Nouns Frequency: #2785


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of impulse in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of impulse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Images & Illustrations of impulse

  1. impulseimpulseimpulse

Translations for impulse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"impulse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 12 Dec. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/impulse>.

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