impulse Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “impulse” - English Dictionary

"impulse" in American English

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impulsenoun

  • impulse noun (DESIRE)

 us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C/U] a ​sudden, ​strongdesire to do something: [+ to infinitive] I had this impulse to ​dye my ​hairred.  us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C/U] If you do something on impulse, you do it because you ​suddenlywant to: [U] I ​bought this ​expensivesweater on impulse.
  • impulse noun (SIGNAL)

 us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C] a ​shortelectricalsignal that ​carriesinformation or ​instructions between the ​parts of a ​system: nerve impulses
  • impulse noun (FORCE)

physics /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [U] the ​force that is ​working on an ​objectmultiplied by the ​amount of ​time it is ​working
(Definition of impulse from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"impulse" in British English

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impulsenoun

uk   us   /ˈɪm.pʌls/
  • impulse noun (WISH)

C2 [C + to infinitive] a ​suddenstrongwish to do something: I had this ​sudden impulse toshout out "Nonsense!" in the ​middle of her ​speech.on (an) impulse C2 because you ​suddenlywant 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 ​shortelectrical, ​radio, or ​lightsignal that ​carriesinformation or ​instructions between the ​parts of a ​system: an ​electrical/​nerve impulse
(Definition of impulse from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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