Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “impulse”

See all translations

impulse

noun uk   /ˈɪm.pʌls/ us  

impulse noun (WISH)

C2 [C + to infinitive] a sudden strong wish to do something: I had this sudden impulse to shout out "Nonsense!" in the middle of her speech.on (an) impulse C2 because you suddenly want to, although you haven't planned to: "I didn't know you were looking for some new shoes." "Oh, I wasn't - I just bought them on impulse."

impulse noun (SIGNAL)

[C] a short electrical, radio, or light signal that carries information or instructions between the parts of a system: an electrical/nerve impulse

impulse noun (REASON)

[C usually singular] formal something that is the force behind or reason for something else: a creative/commercial impulse
(Definition of impulse from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of impulse?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “impulse” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

illusion

an idea or belief that is not true

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More