What does pulse mean?

Definitions for pulse

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pulse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pulsation, pulsing, pulse, impulsenoun

    (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"

  2. pulse, pulsation, heartbeat, beatnoun

    the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart

    "he could feel the beat of her heart"

  3. pulse, pulse rate, heart ratenoun

    the rate at which the heart beats; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health

  4. pulseverb

    edible seeds of various pod-bearing plants (peas or beans or lentils etc.)

  5. pulsate, throb, pulseverb

    expand and contract rhythmically; beat rhythmically

    "The baby's heart was pulsating again after the surgeon massaged it"

  6. pulse, pulsateverb

    produce or modulate (as electromagnetic waves) in the form of short bursts or pulses or cause an apparatus to produce pulses

    "pulse waves"; "a transmitter pulsed by an electronic tube"

  7. pulseverb

    drive by or as if by pulsation

    "A soft breeze pulsed the air"


  1. pulsenoun

    Any annual legume yielding from 1 to 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod, and used as food for humans or animals.

  2. pulsenoun

    A normally regular beat felt when arteries are depressed, caused by the pumping action of the heart.

  3. pulsenoun

    A beat or throb.

  4. pulsenoun

    The beat or tactus of a piece of music.

  5. pulseverb

    to beat, to throb, to flash.

    In the dead of night, all was still but the pulsing light.

  6. pulseverb

    to flow, particularly of blood.

    Hot blood pulses through my veins.

  7. pulseverb

    to emit in discrete quantities

  8. Etymology: pulsus, from pellere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Pulsenoun

    Etymology: pulsus, Lat.

    Pulse is thus accounted for: when the left ventricle of the heart contracts, and throws its blood into the great artery, the blood in the artery is not only thrust forward towards the extremities, but the channel of the artery is likewise dilated; because fluids, when they are pressed, press again to all sides, and their pressure is always perpendicular to the sides of the containing vessels; but the coats of the artery, by any small impetus, may be distended: therefore, upon the contraction or systole of the heart, the blood from the left ventricle will not only press the blood in the artery forwards, but both together will distend the sides of the artery: when the impetus of the blood against the sides of the artery ceases; that is, when the left ventricle ceases to contract, then the spiral fibres of the artery, by their natural elasticity, return again to their former state, and contract the channel of the artery, till it is again dilated by the diastole of the heart: this diastole of the artery is called its pulse, and the time the spiral fibres are returning to their natural state, is the distance between two pulses: this pulse is in all the arteries of the body at the same time; for, while the blood is thrust out of the heart into the artery, the artery being full, the blood must move in all the arteries at the same time; and because the arteries are conical, and the blood moves from the basis of the cone to the apex, therefore the blood must strike against the sides of the vessels, and consequently every point of the artery must be dilated at the same time that the blood is thrown out of the left ventricle of the heart; and as soon as the elasticity of the spiral fibres can overcome the impetus of the blood, the arteries are again contracted: thus two causes operating alternately, the heart and fibres of the arteries, keep the blood in a continual motion: an high pulse is either vehement or strong, but if the dilatation of the artery does not rise to its usual height, it is called a low or weak pulse; but if between its dilatations there passes more time than usual, it is called a slow pulse: again, if the coats of an artery feel harder than usual from any cause whatsoever, it is called an hard pulse; but if by any contrary cause they are softer, then it is called a soft pulse. John Quincy.

    Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
    Have I commandment on the pulse of life? William Shakespeare.

    The prosperity of the neighbour kingdoms is not inferior to that of this, which, according to the pulse of states, is a great diminution of their health. Edward Hyde.

    My body is from all diseases free;
    My temp’rate pulse does regularly beat. Dryden.

    If one drop of blood remain in the heart at every pulse, those, in many pulses, will grow to a considerable mass. Arb.

    The vibrations or pulses of this medium, that they may cause the alternate fits of easy transmission and easy reflexion, must be swifter than light, and by consequence above seven hundred thousand times swifter than sounds. Newton.

    With Elijah he partook,
    Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse. John Milton.

    Mortals, from your fellows blood abstain!
    While corn and pulse by nature are bestow’d. Dryden.

    Tares are as advantageous to land as other pulses. John Mortimer.

  2. To Pulseverb

    To beat as the pulse.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The heart, when separated wholly from the body in some animals, continues still to pulse for a considerable time. John Ray.


  1. Pulse

    In medicine, a pulse represents the tactile arterial palpation of the cardiac cycle (heartbeat) by trained fingertips. The pulse may be palpated in any place that allows an artery to be compressed near the surface of the body, such as at the neck (carotid artery), wrist (radial artery), at the groin (femoral artery), behind the knee (popliteal artery), near the ankle joint (posterior tibial artery), and on foot (dorsalis pedis artery). Pulse (or the count of arterial pulse per minute) is equivalent to measuring the heart rate. The heart rate can also be measured by listening to the heart beat by auscultation, traditionally using a stethoscope and counting it for a minute. The radial pulse is commonly measured using three fingers. This has a reason: the finger closest to the heart is used to occlude the pulse pressure, the middle finger is used get a crude estimate of the blood pressure, and the finger most distal to the heart (usually the ring finger) is used to nullify the effect of the ulnar pulse as the two arteries are connected via the palmar arches (superficial and deep). The study of the pulse is known as sphygmology.


  1. pulse

    A pulse is a rhythmic or recurring series of events, often referring to the regular contraction and expansion of arteries caused by the surge of blood from the heart. However, it can also refer to other regular or intermittent signals or movements, such as in electronics, music, or other fields.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pulsenoun

    leguminous plants, or their seeds, as beans, pease, etc

  2. Pulsenoun

    the beating or throbbing of the heart or blood vessels, especially of the arteries

  3. Pulsenoun

    any measured or regular beat; any short, quick motion, regularly repeated, as of a medium in the transmission of light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration; pulsation; impulse; beat; movement

  4. Pulseverb

    to beat, as the arteries; to move in pulses or beats; to pulsate; to throb

  5. Pulseverb

    to drive by a pulsation; to cause to pulsate

  6. Etymology: [See Pulsate, Pulse a beating.]


  1. Pulse

    In medicine, one's pulse represents the tactile arterial palpation of the heartbeat by trained fingertips. The pulse may be palpated in any place that allows an artery to be compressed against a bone, such as at the neck, at the wrist, behind the knee, on the inside of the elbow, and near the ankle joint. Pulse is equivalent to measuring the heart rate. The heart rate can also be measured by listening to the heart beat directly, traditionally using a stethoscope and counting it for a minute.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pulse

    puls, n. a beating or throbbing: a measured beat or throb: a vibration: the beating of the heart and the arteries: (fig.) feeling, sentiment.—v.i. to beat, as the heart: to throb.—adj. Pulse′less, having no pulsation: without life.—ns. Pulse′lessness; Pulse′-rate, the number of beats of a pulse per minute; Pulse′-wave, the expansion of the artery, moving from point to point, like a wave, as each beat of the heart sends the blood to the extremities.—adj. Pulsif′ic, exciting the pulse.—ns. Pulsim′eter, an instrument for measuring the strength or quickness of the pulse; Pulsom′eter, a pulsimeter: a kind of steam-condensing pump.—Feel one's pulse, to find out by the sense of touch the force of the blood in the arteries: to find out what one is thinking on some point; Public pulse, the movement of public opinion on any question; Quick pulse, a pulse in which the rise of tension is very rapid. [Fr. pouls—L. pulsuspellĕre, pulsum.]

  2. Pulse

    puls, n. grain or seed of beans, pease, &c.—adj. Pultā′ceous, macerated and softened. [L. puls, porridge (Gr. poltos). Cf. Poultice.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Pulse

    The rhythmical expansion and contraction of an ARTERY produced by waves of pressure caused by the ejection of BLOOD from the left ventricle of the HEART as it contracts.


  1. Pulse

    Pulse is an elegant news reading application for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It incorporates colorful panning story bars and fills them with content from your favorite sources. Pulse redefines news, giving you the opportunity to experience the news you desire from traditional sources, your favorite blogs and social networks all in one beautiful interface.Pulse is developed by Alphonso Labs.

Editors Contribution

  1. pulse

    A type of legume cultivated for the seed or a form of food.

    Many legume pulse are grown around the world for human and animal consumption as a form of food.

    Submitted by MaryC on June 5, 2016  

  2. pulse

    A type of rhythm per specific cycle.

    Computers have a pulse function within them.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 22, 2020  

  3. pulse

    The rate of a heartbeat.

    After running he liked to check his pulse on his electronic health app.

    Submitted by MaryC on June 5, 2016  

Suggested Resources

  1. pulse

    Song lyrics by pulse -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pulse on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PULSE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pulse is ranked #29447 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Pulse surname appeared 802 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Pulse.

    90.1% or 723 total occurrences were White.
    2.9% or 24 total occurrences were Black.
    2.8% or 23 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.6% or 13 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.2% or 10 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    1.1% or 9 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pulse' in Nouns Frequency: #2303

Anagrams for pulse »

  1. pules

  2. Lepus

How to pronounce pulse?

How to say pulse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pulse in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pulse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of pulse in a Sentence

  1. Frank Gelett Burgess:

    If in the last few years you haven't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse, you may be dead.

  2. Carlos Guillermo Smith:

    I think when Pulse happened, there were a lot of folks in elected office locally who also reflected on,' How inclusive are we really being ?' yes, Orlando was very affirming for LGBTQ people before Pulse, and that commitment to equality was certainly strengthened in Orlando after Pulse, but it was also an important moment for our community to reflect and see how we can be even more inclusive.

  3. Laurence Sterne:

    There are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse.

  4. Barbara Poma:

    The foundation is centered on what we call our four pillars : the Pulse memorial, the Pulse museum, our educational programs and our legacy scholarships, but the pillars aren't just about what happened at Pulse. They're also about the history of LGBTQ people in this country, and the struggles they face today.

  5. Joseph Chilton Pearce:

    We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for pulse

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"pulse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pulse>.

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