stimulus

[stim-yuh-luhs]
noun, plural stimuli [stim-yuh-lahy] .
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:
1605–15; < Latin: a goad

interstimulus, noun, plural interstimuli.
poststimulus, adjective
prestimulus, noun, plural prestimuli.
understimulus, noun, plural understimuli.


1. incitement, enticement, motive, provocation. 2. stimulant.


1. discouragement.
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World English Dictionary
stimulus (ˈstɪmjʊləs)
 
n , pl -li
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
 
[C17: from Latin: a cattle goad]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stimulus
plural stimuli, 1680s, originally as a medical term, "something that goads a lazy organ" (often the male member), from Mod.L. 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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stimulus   (stĭm'yə-ləs)  Pronunciation Key 
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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