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[im-puhl-shuh n] /ɪmˈpʌl ʃən/
the act of impelling, driving onward, or pushing.
the resulting state or effect; impulse; impetus.
the inciting influence of some feeling or motive; mental impulse.
a constraining or inciting action exerted on the mind or conduct:
divine impulsion.
Origin of impulsion
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin impulsiōn- (stem of impulsiō) incitement. See impulse, -ion
Related forms
self-impulsion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impulsion
Historical Examples
  • Sometimes, indeed, they speak of an attraction, sometimes of an impulsion exercised by the prime mover on the whole of the world.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • It is due to an identity of impulsion and not to a common aspiration.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • The function is always the same, the recoil and the impulsion operate upon the two pallets simultaneously.

  • Matter cannot have been produced by force, because force is nothing but the impulsion of matter.

    Ingersoll in Canada Allen Pringle
  • Mind, therefore, and Matter are resolvable into this sole unity—the Law of ultimate mechanical movement and impulsion.

  • Why should we be confined to employ only the power of impulsion?

    Buffon's Natural History, Volume II (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
  • Then, under the impulsion of a generous thought, he offered to give me a thousand ounces if you will marry him.

    Eastern Shame Girl Charles Georges Souli
  • The "inductive leap" is no leap away from logic, but the impulsion of logic's mainspring seen only in its legitimate event.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • The impulsion of love is unreal and it is only the illusion of desire which makes me believe in its possible accomplishment.

    Very Woman Remy de Gourmont
  • In these drawings by Degas all the lines follow the impulsion of the thought.

British Dictionary definitions for impulsion


the act of impelling or the state of being impelled
motion produced by an impulse; propulsion
a driving force; compulsion
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 impulsion

early 15c., "driving, pushing, thrusting," from Old French impulsion (early 14c.), from Latin impulsionem (nominative impulsio) "external pressure," figuratively "incitement, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of impellere (see impel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impulsion in Medicine

impulsion im·pul·sion (ĭm-pŭl'shən)
An urge to perform certain actions without regard for internal or social constraints.

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