Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To rouse to action or increased activity; excite: synonym: provoke.
  • intransitive verb To increase temporarily the activity of (a body organ or system, for example).
  • intransitive verb To cause to be interested or engaged.
  • intransitive verb To cause to desire to have sex; arouse sexually.
  • intransitive verb To excite or invigorate (a person, for example) with a stimulant.
  • intransitive verb To act or serve as a stimulant or stimulus.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To prick; goad; excite, rouse, or animate to action or more vigorous exertion by some effective motive or by persuasion; spur on; incite.
  • In physiology, to quicken temporarily some functional or trophic process in.
  • Specifically, to affect by the use of intoxicating drinks.
  • Synonyms To encourage, impel, urge, instigate, provoke, whet, foment, kindle, stir up.
  • To act as a stimulus.

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

  • transitive verb To excite as if with a goad; to excite, rouse, or animate, to action or more vigorous exertion by some pungent motive or by persuasion.
  • transitive verb (Physiol.) To excite; to irritate; especially, to excite the activity of (a nerve or an irritable muscle), as by electricity.

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

  • verb To encourage into action.
  • verb To arouse an organism to functional activity.

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

  • verb cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner
  • verb cause to occur rapidly
  • verb stir feelings in
  • verb act as a stimulant
  • verb cause to be alert and energetic
  • verb provide the needed stimulus for
  • verb stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of

Etymologies

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

[Latin stimulāre, stimulāt-, to goad on, from stimulus, goad.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin stimulātus, perfect passive participle of stimulō ("goad on"), from Latin stimulus ("goad").

Examples

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