actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses: an impulsive child.
having the power or effect of impelling; characterized by impulsion: impulsive forces.
inciting to action: the impulsive effects of a revolutionary idea.
Mechanics. (of forces) acting momentarily; not continuous.

1375–1425 for an earlier sense; 1545–55 for current senses; late Middle English impulsif < Medieval Latin impulsīvus. See impulse, -ive

impulsively, adverb
impulsiveness, impulsivity, noun
nonimpulsive, adjective
nonimpulsively, adverb
nonimpulsiveness, noun
unimpulsive, adjective
unimpulsively, adverb

compulsive, impulsive, impetuous (see synonym study at impetuous).

1. rash, quick, hasty. See impetuous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To impulsiveness
World English Dictionary
impulsive (ɪmˈpʌlsɪv)
1.  characterized by actions based on sudden desires, whims, or inclinations rather than careful thought: an impulsive man
2.  based on emotional impulses or whims; spontaneous: an impulsive kiss
3.  forceful, inciting, or impelling
4.  (of physical forces) acting for a short time; not continuous
5.  (of a sound) brief, loud, and having a wide frequency range

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1550s, "having the property of impelling," originally in reference to medicines that reduce swelling or tumors, from M.L. impulsivus, from L. impuls-, pp. stem of impellere (see impel). Of persons, "rash, characterized by impulses," from 1847.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

impulsive im·pul·sive (ĭm-pŭl'sĭv)

  1. Inclined or tending to act on impulse rather than thought.

  2. Motivated by or resulting from impulse.

im·pul'sive·ness or im'pul·siv'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Earthquake faults have a nasty way of combining patience with impulsiveness.
To rein in impulsiveness, try becoming more self-aware as you go about your day.
For me, it's too limited in scope and is akin to drunk dialing in the
  impulsiveness and inanity that gets thrown around.
Impulsiveness lies alongside wanderlust in a spot close to his heart.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature