• WordNet 3.6
    • n impulse the act of applying force suddenly "the impulse knocked him over"
    • n impulse an impelling force or strength "the car's momentum carried it off the road"
    • n impulse the electrical discharge that travels along a nerve fiber "they demonstrated the transmission of impulses from the cortex to the hypothalamus"
    • n impulse (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"
    • n impulse a sudden desire "he bought it on an impulse"
    • n impulse an instinctive motive "profound religious impulses"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Nerve impulses for muscle position travel at a speed of up to 390 feet per second
    • Impulse 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. "These were my natural impulses for the undertaking."
    • Impulse The act of impelling, or driving onward with sudden force; impulsion; especially, force so communicated as to produced motion suddenly, or immediately. "All spontaneous animal motion is performed by mechanical impulse ."
    • Impulse (Mech) 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.
    • Impulse The effect of an impelling force; motion produced by a sudden or momentary force.
    • v. t Impulse To impel; to incite.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Scientists have figured out that the speed of nerve impulses in the brain is 404 feet per second. If an idea is complex enough to take 100 nerve messages from one side of the brain to the other, the thought could be completed in less than a tenth of a second.
    • n impulse Force communicated suddenly; the effect of an impelling force; a thrust; a push.
    • n impulse Specifically In mech.: An infinite force or action enduring for an infinitely short time, so as to produce a finite momentum. Strictly speaking, there is no such natural force; but mathematicians find it convenient to treat such actions as the blow of a hammer as if of this nature.
    • n impulse The resultant of all such forces acting on a body at any instant, resolved into a couple and a force along the axis of that couple.
    • n impulse The momentum produced by a force in any time.
    • n impulse A stimulation of the mind to action; the impelling force of appetite, desire, aversion, or other emotion; especially, a sudden disposition to perform some act which is not the result of reflection; sudden determination.
    • n impulse Any communication of force; any compelling action; instigation.
    • n impulse A mental impression; an idea.
    • n impulse Shock; onset.
    • impulse To give an impulse to; incite; instigate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The sense of touch: electrical impulses travel from the skin toward the spinal cord at a rate of up to 425 feet per second.
    • n Impulse im′puls the act of impelling: effect of an impelling force: force suddenly communicated: influence on the mind
    • ***


  • Vincent Van Gogh
    “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
  • Albert Einstein
    “We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race.”
  • James Russell Lowell
    “Where one person shapes their life by precept and example, there are a thousand who have shaped it by impulse and circumstances.”
  • Robert Coover
    Robert Coover
    “The narrative impulse is always with us; we couldn't imagine ourselves through a day without it.”
  • Henry Van Dyke
    “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
  • Baltasar Gracian
    “Let the first impulse pass, wait for the second.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. impulsus, fr. impellere,. See Impel
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. impulsus, pressure—impellĕre.


In literature:

All social impulses tend in this same direction, and there is induced in all intense social states an intoxication mood.
"The Psychology of Nations" by G.E. Partridge
Is there not a call for a more active religion, a more powerful impulse in behalf of morality?
"Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women" by George Sumner Weaver
It's a natural impulse.
"The Gold Trail" by Harold Bindloss
They feel the stimulus that comes from obedience to a common impulse.
"Society" by Henry Kalloch Rowe
The buried impulses had broken out, like a half-smothered flame, in her children, especially in her younger daughter.
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
The discharge of the requisite motor impulses, along the nerve-tracts, to the muscles whose contraction constitutes the movement.
"The Psychology of Singing" by David C. Taylor
It was supposed that nervous impulse, which, must necessarily form the basis of sensation, was beyond any conceivable power of visual scrutiny.
"Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose" by Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
There was no resisting the impulse: in a moment she was whirling away.
"Olive A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
Had she not always regretted these singular impulses?
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
Champions of order and champions of disorder share somewhat in a similarity of imaginative impulses.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
Nor was he disturbed by the least suspicion of having been filled with the sensations and the impulses that she had contrived.
"The Highgrader" by William MacLeod Raine
An impulse must be given to a boy's training.
"Electricity for Boys" by J. S. Zerbe
A well-stocked intelligence weakens the impulse to action; an overstocked one leads gently to idiocy.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
Garstaing's were questioning, searching, and full of an impulse that might have meant anything.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
She was always running, as though to keep up with the rapidity of her swift impulses.
"The Squirrel-Cage" by Dorothy Canfield
He wrenched his hands from her grasp and threw his arms impulsively about her neck.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
An impulse of sympathy came upon me; I ran after her, caught her by the arm, and kissed her.
"The King's Mirror" by Anthony Hope
She fought down the impulse though and moved over to the window.
"To Love" by Margaret Peterson
She was very much a child of impulse.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
He came towards me impulsively and shook my hand.
"The Blue Germ" by Martin Swayne

In poetry:

The sufferings sweet, the impulses
Our inmost hearts that warm;
Whatever gives this life of ours
Its value and its charm.
"The Resurrection" by Count Giacomo Leopardi
Well! we have still his early music yet,
The worst
Which follow'd after we can now forget
In the impulses given by the first.
"The Veiled Memnon" by Alexander Anderson
One only memory left of all
The motley crowd of vanished scenes,
Hers, and vain impulse to recall
By repetition what it means.
"Phoebe" by James Russell Lowell
"It binds the chords with arm of might,
And strikes with impulse strong;
I know not whence the visitant,
But mortals call it song.
"The Vesper Chime" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
"Oh, what a model he would make!"
I rushed outside - impulsive me! -
"Forgive the liberty I take,
But you're so very" - "Stop!" said he.
"An Unfortunate Likeness" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Where are they who gave the impulse
To thy earliest thought and flow?
Look around the ruined garden—
All are withered, dropped, or low!
"The Buried Flower" by William Edmondstoune Aytoun

In news:

In fact, it's an impulse as ancient as most faiths .
Impulse buying isn't (entirely) your fault .
Solar Impulse pilots prepare for an extraordinary feat .
A wild impulse, Barreth admits.
Increase Mother's Day impulse sales with these unique indoor/outdoor garden kit gifts.
The first impulse for many when they see a hive is to get out a pesticide and try to kill them, he said.
Players don't decide to hold out impulsively, nor do they choose the tactic out of sheer stubbornness.
I, too, am guilty of the impulse to push the leaders of flagging teams out the door.
The impulse to make best and worst lists is sown in the nature of man.
It's a totally natural impulse -- wanting to stand out at a holiday party.
Around ages 4 to 5, for instance, "there are enough neurological changes that allow children to control those impulses more," Smith said.
Alberta Ferretti for Macy's Impulse .
Holidays Spur Impulse Snack Sales.
Solar Impulse pilots prepare for an extraordinary feat.
Ray's Take We all know that impulse spending can put you in massive debt and destroy your chances of reaching other financial goals.

In science:

Now, let us pass X(t) through a medium which is an LTI system with impulse response h(t).
On Superluminal Propagation and Information Velocity
The impulse response of the medium h(t) is the inverse Fourier Transform of H(f) .
On Superluminal Propagation and Information Velocity
Generalized symmetries of impulsive gravitational waves.
Nonlinear distributional geometry and general relativity
Geodesics for impulsive gravitational waves and the multiplication of distributions.
Nonlinear distributional geometry and general relativity
The geometry of impulsive gravitational waves.
Nonlinear distributional geometry and general relativity
Continuous coordinates for all impulsive ppwaves.
Nonlinear distributional geometry and general relativity
On the geometry of impulsive gravitational waves.
Nonlinear distributional geometry and general relativity
An in-depth analysis of the interrelations between the setting introduced here and the one of Geroch and Traschen () as well as a study of spherical impulsive gravitational waves in this framework is the sub ject of ongoing research.
Generalized pseudo-Riemannian geometry
We close this work by discussing the geodesic equation of impulsive pp-waves in the present setting.
Generalized pseudo-Riemannian geometry
It also conserves the angular momentum L = R ωr2d2r in a circular domain and the impulse P = R ωyd2r in a channel (or in an infinite domain).
Generalized thermodynamics and Fokker-Planck equations. Applications to stellar dynamics, two-dimensional turbulence and Jupiter's great red spot
Oe, (b) an impulse of the “writing” field of 2.4 Oe.
Crossed-anisotropy films for magnetic tunnel junctions and magnetic memory applications
It can be shown , that a null shell and an impulsive gravitational generally coexist with the hypersurface N representing their space–time history.
Singular Hypersurfaces in Einstein--Gauss--Bonnet Theory of Gravitation
Because N is a null cone, and therefore the light–like signal is spherical–fronted, N cannot be the history of an impulsive gravitational wave.
Singular Hypersurfaces in Einstein--Gauss--Bonnet Theory of Gravitation
In the time domain it is referred to as the impulse response or the Green’s function.
Coarse graining and control theory model reduction
Notice the “almost impulsive” periodic behavior of Σ0 (t) which is mostly almost vanishing.
From the superfluid to the Mott regime and back: triggering a non-trivial dynamics in an array of coupled condensates