The act of impelling, or driving onward with sudden force; impulsion; especially, force so communicated as to produced motion suddenly, or immediately.
- An impelling force; an impetus.
- The motion produced by such a force.
- A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination: had an impulse to run away; an impulse of regret that made me hesitate; bought a hat on impulse.
- A motivating force or tendency: "Respect for the liberty of others is not a natural impulse in most men” ( Bertrand Russell).
- Electronics A surge of electrical power in one direction.
- Physics The product obtained by multiplying the average value of a force by the time during which it acts. The impulse equals the change in momentum produced by the force in this time interval.
- Physiology The electrochemical transmission of a signal along a nerve fiber that produces an excitatory or inhibitory response at a target tissue, such as a muscle or another nerve.
- Characterized by impulsiveness or acting on impulse: an impulse shopper; impulse buying.