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stimulus

[stim-yuh-luh s] /ˈstɪm yə ləs/
noun, plural stimuli
[stim-yuh-lahy] /ˈstɪm yəˌlaɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
something that incites to action or exertion or quickens action, feeling, thought, etc.:
The approval of others is a potent stimulus.
2.
Physiology, Medicine/Medical. something that excites an organism or part to functional activity.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < Latin: a goad
Related forms
interstimulus, noun, plural interstimuli.
poststimulus, adjective
prestimulus, noun, plural prestimuli.
understimulus, noun, plural understimuli.
Synonyms
1. incitement, enticement, motive, provocation. 2. stimulant.
Antonyms
1. discouragement.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for stimuli
  • It's important to combine the musical stimuli with imagery because when you do you activate more areas in the brain.
  • In the absence of attacks, many organisms learn to ignore stimuli that are constant or occur frequently.
  • So there are exaggerated stimuli in the animal world that evoke exaggerated responses.
  • The tenure trek itself can be gloomy because of many painful stimuli that, because of our inexperience, seem overwhelming.
  • The program may include counterconditioning and desensitization to stimuli that frighten or arouse the dog.
  • They were simply machines, robots programmed to react to stimuli but lacking the ability to think or feel.
  • Not surprisingly, the team found that the younger animals' neurons fired often during periods when there were no stimuli.
  • The scans were carried out when the volunteers were resting and exposed to no external stimuli.
  • People have a similar heat-sensitive channel, but it's only activated by painfully hot stimuli, such as touching a hot stove.
  • Environmental stimuli used to gauge awareness can range from simple to complex.
British Dictionary definitions for stimuli

stimulus

/ˈstɪmjʊləs/
noun (pl) -li (-ˌlaɪ; -ˌliː)
1.
something that stimulates or acts as an incentive
2.
any drug, agent, electrical impulse, or other factor able to cause a response in an organism
3.
an object or event that is apprehended by the senses
4.
(med) a former name for stimulant
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: a cattle goad
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 stimuli
n.

Latinate plural of stimulus.

stimulus

n.

plural stimuli, 1680s, originally as a medical term, "something that goads a lazy organ" (often the male member), from Modern Latin stimulus "goad" (see stimulation). General sense is from 1791. Psychological sense is first recorded 1894.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stimuli in Medicine

stimulus stim·u·lus (stĭm'yə-ləs)
n. pl. stim·u·li (-lī')

  1. A stimulant.

  2. That which can elicit or evoke an action or response in a cell, an excitable tissue, or an organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stimuli in Science
stimulus
  (stĭm'yə-ləs)   
Plural stimuli (stĭm'yə-lī')
  1. Physiology Something that can elicit or evoke a physiological response in a cell, a tissue, or an organism. A stimulus can be internal or external. Sense organs, such as the ear, and sensory receptors, such as those in the skin, are sensitive to external stimuli such as sound and touch.

  2. Something that has an impact or an effect on an organism so that its behavior is modified in a detectable way. See more at classical conditioning.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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stimuli in Culture

stimulus definition


plur. stimuli (stim-yuh-leye)

An action, condition, or person that provokes a response, especially a conditioned response.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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