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

lamb

a young sheep, or the flesh of a young sheep eaten as meat

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More