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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 stimulus
  • In some countries, economic stimulus programs may have been a factor in motivating change.
  • The device requires training the brain to decipher the implant's stimulus and does not replace or completely restore hearing.
  • If the problem is a lack of demand, policies that boost demand-fiscal stimulus, aggressive monetary policy-will help.
  • Take the fiscal stimulus package-eight hundred billion dollars.
  • At the same time, it seems likely that projects funded through the federal stimulus package will get underway this year.
  • Indirectly, that vital stimulus alone deserves some accolade.
  • The drugged minnows appeared lethargic and took twice as long to react to stimulus, making them much more vulnerable to predators.
  • There is a window of less than a tenth of a second in which a stimulus from one sense can affect the others.
  • Neuroscientists have determined that the memory of a fear stimulus triggers dramatic changes in the vital signs of rats.
  • Reminds me of the experiment where a dolphin was supposed to respond to some stimulus with a whistle.
British Dictionary definitions for stimulus

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 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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stimulus 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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stimulus 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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stimulus 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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