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Definition of “impulse” - English Dictionary

"impulse" in American English

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impulsenoun

  • impulse noun (DESIRE)

us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C/U] a sudden, strong desire to do something: [+ to infinitive] I had this impulse to dye my hair red.
us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C/U] If you do something on impulse, you do it because you suddenly want to: [U] I bought this expensive sweater on impulse.
  • impulse noun (SIGNAL)

us   /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [C] a short electrical signal that carries information or instructions between the parts of a system: nerve impulses
  • impulse noun (FORCE)

physics /ˈɪm·pʌls/ [U] the force that is working on an object multiplied 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   /ˈɪm.pʌls/ us   /ˈɪm.pʌls/
  • 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."
(Definition of impulse from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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