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[puhl-seyt] /ˈpʌl seɪt/
verb (used without object), pulsated, pulsating.
to expand and contract rhythmically, as the heart; beat; throb.
to vibrate; quiver.
1785-95; < Latin pulsātus, past participle of pulsāre to batter, strike, make (strings) vibrate. See pulse1, -ate1
Related forms
nonpulsating, adjective
unpulsating, adjective
1. pulse. Pulsate, beat, palpitate, throb refer to the recurrent vibratory movement of the heart, the pulse, etc. To pulsate is to move in a definite rhythm, temporarily or for a longer duration: Blood pulsates in the arteries. To beat is to repeat a vibration or pulsation regularly for some time: One's heart beats many times a minute. To palpitate is to beat at a rapid rate, often producing a flutter: to palpitate with excitement. To throb is to beat with an unusual force that is often associated with pain or heightened emotion or sensation: to throb with terror. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pulsating
  • They use pulsating electromagnetic field therapy to cure many illnesses.
  • Swelling and contracting with each breath and pulsating in time to the beating heart, the healthy brain dances within the skull.
  • Flukes drive snails to visible leaves and extend pulsating sacs into their antennae, drawing the attention of birds.
  • Our brains are filled with electro-magnetic energy pulsating in our own personal patterns.
  • Finally, a legible city has to have a heart, and this heart must be pulsating.
  • Song: a high-pitched, wiry to lisping squeaky warble from perch, often prolonged and repeated with pulsating succession.
  • The sardines are literally packed into a tight pulsating ball.
  • There are no real people in these pulsating pages and nothing of real interest happens to them.
  • It also has pulsating lights and a detachable accessory that vibrates as if you were the shaking the bed.
  • At night, it becomes a popular karaoke parlor and pulsating nightclub.
British Dictionary definitions for pulsating


verb (intransitive)
to expand and contract with a rhythmic beat; throb
(physics) to vary in intensity, magnitude, size, etc: the current was pulsating
to quiver or vibrate
Derived Forms
pulsative (ˈpʌlsətɪv) adjective
pulsatively, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin pulsāre to push
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pulsating



1741, back-formation from pulsation, from Latin pulsatus, past participle of pulsare "to beat against, strike upon" (see pulsation). Related: Pulsated; pulsating; pulsatile.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pulsating in Medicine

pulsate pul·sate (pŭl'sāt')
v. pul·sat·ed, pul·sat·ing, pul·sates
To expand and contract rhythmically; beat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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