from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The edible seeds of certain pod-bearing plants, such as lentils and chickpeas.
  • noun A plant yielding these seeds.
  • noun The rhythmical throbbing of arteries produced by the regular contractions of the heart, especially as palpated at the wrist or in the neck.
  • noun A regular or rhythmical beating.
  • noun A single beat or throb.
  • noun A brief sudden change in a normally constant quantity.
  • noun Any of a series of intermittent occurrences characterized by a brief sudden change in a quantity.
  • noun The perceptible emotions or sentiments of a group of people.
  • intransitive verb To pulsate; beat.
  • intransitive verb Physics To undergo a series of intermittent occurrences characterized by brief, sudden changes in a quantity.
  • idiom (take the pulse of) To judge the mood or views of (a political electorate, for example).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drive.
  • To drive by a pulsation of the heart.
  • To beat, as the arteries or heart.
  • noun In physical, a proposed unit for the measurement of the time-integral of forces.
  • noun The esculent seeds of leguminous plants cultivated as field or garden crops, as peas, beans, lentils, etc.
  • noun One of the plants producing pulse.
  • noun A beat; a stroke; especially, a measured, regular, or rhythmical beat; a short, quick motion regularly repeated, as in a medium of the transmission of light, sound, etc.; a pulsation; a vibration.
  • noun Specifically, in physiology, the series of rhythmically recurring maxima of fluid tension in any blood-vessel, consequent on the contractions of the heart.
  • noun In music, same as beat or accent.
  • noun Figuratively, feeling; sentiment; general opinion, drift, tendency, or movement, private or public: as, the pulse of an occasion; the pulse of the community.
  • noun A frequent pulse.
  • noun An infrequent pulse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Leguminous plants, or their seeds, as beans, pease, etc.
  • intransitive verb To beat, as the arteries; to move in pulses or beats; to pulsate; to throb.
  • transitive verb rare To drive by a pulsation; to cause to pulsate.
  • noun (Physiol.) The beating or throbbing of the heart or blood vessels, especially of the arteries.
  • noun Any measured or regular beat; any short, quick motion, regularly repeated, as of a medium in the transmission of light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration; pulsation; impulse; beat; movement.
  • noun an instrument consisting to a glass tube with terminal bulbs, and containing ether or alcohol, which the heat of the hand causes to boil; -- so called from the pulsating motion of the liquid when thus warmed.
  • noun (Physiol.) the wave of increased pressure started by the ventricular systole, radiating from the semilunar valves over the arterial system, and gradually disappearing in the smaller branches.
  • noun Hence, to sound one's opinion; to try to discover one's mind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any annual legume yielding from 1 to 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod, and used as food for humans or animals.
  • noun physiology A normally regular beat felt when arteries are depressed, caused by the pumping action of the heart.
  • noun A beat or throb.
  • noun music The beat or tactus of a piece of music.
  • verb to beat, to throb, to flash.
  • verb to flow, particularly of blood.
  • verb to emit in discrete quantities

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

  • noun (electronics) a sharp transient wave in the normal electrical state (or a series of such transients)
  • noun the rate at which the heart beats; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health
  • noun edible seeds of various pod-bearing plants (peas or beans or lentils etc.)
  • verb produce or modulate (as electromagnetic waves) in the form of short bursts or pulses or cause an apparatus to produce pulses
  • noun the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart
  • verb drive by or as if by pulsation
  • verb expand and contract rhythmically; beat rhythmically


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

[Middle English pols, puls, from Latin puls, pottage of meal and pulse, probably ultimately from Greek poltos.]

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pulsus, from past participle of pellere, to beat; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pulsus ("beat"), from pellere ("to drive").


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  • And by that time efkn is got to n, EFKN is got to d and when it touches N, the pulse of the other Ray is got to o. and no farther, which is very short of the place it should have arriv'd to, to make the Ray np to cut the _orbicular pulse_ No at right Angles: therefore the Angle Nop is an acute Angle, but the quite contrary of this will happen, if 17. and 18. be calculated in stead of 16. and 17. both which does most exactly agree with the _Phænomena_: For if the Sun, or a Candle

    Micrographia Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon Robert Hooke 1669

  • -- The X on the lower border of the jaw indicates the place where the pulse is taken.] _The horse's pulse_ is taken from the submaxillary artery at a point anterior to, or below the angle of the jaw and along its inferior border

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals R. A. Craig

  • Actually any Democrat with a pulse is a good choice when compared to idiots like Romney.

    Massachusetts AG takes steps to run for Kennedy's seat 2009

  • What they are looking to do is see if they can somehow get their computer who will sort of what they call pulse this information on a more regular basis, will automatically do it, so you don't have to rely necessarily on human fallibility.

    CNN Transcript Jan 6, 2010 2010

  • Why it's taken them this long to find a running back with a pulse is anyone's guess. - AFC fantasy notes 2002

  • As the blood is forced through the heart by forcible contractions of its muscular walls, it has the action of a force pump, and gives the impulse at each beat, which we call the pulse -- the dilatation of the arteries throughout the system.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse Charles B. Michener 1877

  • This morning, I did three miles on cruise control (around a fifteen-sixteen minute mile) without even pausing, and felt like I was good for another three (I walked in the door eight minutes ago and my pulse is already back under 90), but I decided to quit while I was ahead -- because three miles was my goal, and it seems like I should celebrate that with some sort of reward -- and because I am climbing tonight, and it seemed silly to kick my ass that totally beforehand.

    they keep building all these big buildings and they build them all in one-- --spot. pnh 2008

  • It seems as if any defenseman with a pulse is getting $2.5 million.

    Do trade deadline deals work, plus 11 other key questions 2009

  • You don't know how to take a man's pulse from the neck.

    Chapter 11 2010

  • "When a man's pulse is that low it takes an expert to find it --"

    Chapter 11 2010


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  • M. Gandhi uses this word frequently in the sense of "legume" in his autobiography "The Story of My Experiments With Truth". Confused the heck out of me.

    February 16, 2012

  • A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for their grain seed called pulse, for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.

    A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a few other fruit types, such as that of vanilla (a capsule) and of radish (a silique).

    July 6, 2016