Definitions

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

  • noun Something causing or regarded as causing a response.
  • noun An agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response.
  • noun Something that incites or rouses to action; an incentive.
  • noun Government spending designed to generate or increase economic activity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Literally, a goad.
  • noun In botany, a sting: as, the nettle is furnished with stimuli.
  • noun The point at the end of a crozier, pastoral staff, precentor's staff, or the like.
  • noun Something that excites or rouses the mind or spirits; something that incites to action or exertion; an incitement or incentive.
  • noun In physiology, something which evokes some functional or trophic reaction in the tissues on which it acts.
  • noun In entomology, a stinging-hair.
  • noun The continuation in sense-organ, nerve, and brain of a process of stimulation externally initiated; the physiological excitation which is aroused by the action of an external stimulus.

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

  • noun A goad; hence, something that rouses the mind or spirits; an incentive.
  • noun That which excites or produces a temporary increase of vital action, either in the whole organism or in any of its parts; especially (Physiol.), any substance or agent capable of evoking the activity of a nerve or irritable muscle, or capable of producing an impression upon a sensory organ or more particularly upon its specific end organ.

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

  • noun this sense?) Anything that may have an impact or influence on a system.
  • noun this sense?) (physiology) Something external that elicits or influences a physiological or psychological activity or response.
  • noun this sense?) (psychology) Anything effectively impinging upon any of the sensory apparatuses of a living organism, including physical phenomena both internal and external to the body.
  • noun this sense?) Anything that induces a person to take action.

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

  • noun any stimulating information or event; acts to arouse action

Etymologies

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

[Latin, goad.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin stimulus ("goad, prick")

Examples

  • * -- Here we place any reaction which is a repetition of any previous stimulus from amongst the ten next preceding, at the same time placing * repetition of preceding stimulus* under a separate heading.

    A Study of Association in Insanity

  • If the quantity of sensorial power remains the same, and the quantity of stimulus be lessened, a weakness of the fibrous contractions ensues, which may be denominated _debility from defect of stimulus_.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • President Obama avoided the term "stimulus" last night in his speech before Congress.

    Money for Nothing

  • In fact, whenever you hear the term "stimulus," a valid substitute term would be "forcible government overrides of private capital allocations."

    Forbes.com: News

  • The term stimulus is already a dirty word, even within the Obama administration.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • The term stimulus is already a dirty word, even within the Obama administration.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Please guys, find something to report on other than this woman, there's relevant news to report, like the how the stimulus is anything but, no other distractions with Palin please ....

    Poll: Majority of Republicans don't think Palin's qualified for prez

  • In addition, recent projections indicate our economy should be out of the recession by the second half of this year, which means the stimulus is attributing to some cautiously optimistic signs going forward.

    GOP slams Obama stimulus as ineffective, wasteful

  • I don't know where those commenting on the impact of the stimulus are getting their information (perhaps from Fake News, or some other conservative, Obama-hating, talking heads) but according to most economists surveyed, the impact of the stimulus is accounting for 1 to 3% of economic growth in the second quarter where, they estimate, growth would have been 0% to negative.

    How a capital gains tax break could get cash to startups

  • If the stimulus is a success, they will lose more ground in their plan to take over America.

    GOP slams Obama stimulus as ineffective, wasteful

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