Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of impelling or the condition of being impelled: "I do not move . . . unless it be under the impulsion of a third party” ( Samuel Beckett).
  • n. An impelling force; a thrust.
  • n. Motion produced by an impelling force; momentum.
  • n. A wish or urge from within; an impulse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of impelling or driving onward, or the state of being impelled; the sudden or momentary agency of a body in motion on another body; also, the impelling force, or impulse.
  • n. Influence acting unexpectedly or temporarily on the mind; sudden motive or influence; impulse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of impelling or driving onward, or the state of being impelled; the sudden or momentary agency of a body in motion on another body; also, the impelling force, or impulse.
  • n. Influence acting unexpectedly or temporarily on the mind; sudden motive or influence; impulse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of impelling or imparting an impulse; impelling force or action.
  • n. Moving or inciting influence on the mind; instigation; impulse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a force that moves something along
  • n. the act of applying force suddenly

Etymologies

From Latin impulsio. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These are for ever crying out, “Why did he not employ the word impulsion, which is so well understood, rather than that of attraction, which is unintelligible?

    Letter XV-On Attraction

  • Sir Isaac might have answered these critics thus: —“First, you have as imperfect an idea of the word impulsion as of that of attraction; and in case you cannot conceive how one body tends towards the centre of another body, neither can you conceive by what power one body can impel another.

    Letter XV-On Attraction

  • The ideal horse has "impulsion" -- it eagerly moves forward on its own without being repeatedly pushed by heels, spurs, or a whip.

    Chicago Reader

  • Sir Isaac might have answered these critics thus: -- "First, you have as imperfect an idea of the word impulsion as of that of attraction; and in case you cannot conceive how one body tends towards the centre of another body, neither can you conceive by what power one body can impel another.

    Letters on England

  • The two conflicting emotions surged within her; their impulsion was a cause which threatened to exert a common effect, inasmuch as they urged her to leave Windebank.

    Sparrows: the story of an unprotected girl

  • The first half of the episode was rather boring, insulting me with a rather weak and fake plot "impulsion".

    Anime Nano!

  • The union that is presented in perception [of art] persists in the remaking of impulsion and thought.

    John Dewey's *Art as Experience*

  • The trick is to maintain balance through impulsion, until the opposites blurs into peculiar stability.

    Tories must tackle the failure of the state, not abolish it

  • You preferred to walk toward her before your steps were impelled, because you feared that impulsion would preclude rational choice.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • Everything that we need is already within us, announcing itself through the inner impulsion to grow, develop and unfold.

    Michael Bernard Beckwith: Extended Awareness: The Possiblities of Quantum Consciousness

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  • In racing and dressage, the propulsive energy of a horse properly and energetically communicated from the hindquarters through the back into the athletic movements and gait.

    April 19, 2011