- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pʌls/
- (General American) IPA(key): /pʌls/, [pəls]
Audio (GA) (file)
- (Canada) IPA(key): /pʊls/, /pʌls/
- Rhymes: -ʌls, -ʊls
From Late Middle English pulse, Middle English pous, pouse (“regular beat of arteries, pulse; heartbeat; place on the body where a pulse is detectable; beat (of a musical instrument); energy, vitality”) [and other forms], from Anglo-Norman puls, pous, pus, and Middle French pouls, poulz, pous [and other forms], Old French pous, pulz (“regular beat of arteries; place on the body where a pulse is detectable”) (modern French pouls), and from their etymon Latin pulsus (“beat, impulse, pulse, stroke; regular beat of arteries or the heart”), from pellō (“to drive, impel, propel, push; to banish, eject, expel; to set in motion; to strike”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (“to beat, strike; to drive; to push, thrust”)) + -sus (a variant of -tus (suffix forming action nouns from verbs)).
pulse (plural pulses)
- A normally regular beat felt when arteries near the skin (for example, at the neck or wrist) are depressed, caused by the heart pumping blood through them.
- The nature or rate of this beat as an indication of a person's health.
- Her pulse was thready and weak.
- 1764, “№ XXVII. A Dissertation on the Pulse, and the Dijudication Drawn therefrom.”, in The Medical Museum: Or, A Repository of Cases, Experiments, Researches, and Discoveries Collected at Home and Abroad […], volume III, London: […] W. Richardson and S. Clark; and sold by W. Bristow, […], →OCLC, page 216:
- [A] Pulſe which is ſlow and large denotes ſufficient remains of ſtrength, tenſion, and thickneſs of the fibres of the heart and arteries, and a viſcid and tenacious blood. All unequal Pulſes are very bad, ſince they denote that there is neither a due influx of the ſpirits, nor a proper and equal mixture of the blood; but particularly ſuch Pulſes always prognoſticate unlucky events, when they are weak.
- 1870 May 21, Thomas Cash, “United Kingdom Band of Hope Union. Annual Conference.”, in The Temperance Record. The Organ of the National Temperance League, number 738, London: William Tweedie, […], →OCLC, page 247, column 2:
- [M]y experience is that men may enjoy better health, do more work, have clearer brains, a steadier pulse, and go on to old age better without alcohol than with.
- (figuratively) A beat or throb; also, a repeated sequence of such beats or throbs.
- 1756 (date written), [Edmund Burke], “Sect. XI. The Artificial Infinite.”, in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, London: […] R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, […], published 1757, →OCLC, part IV, page 135:
- When the ear receives any ſimple ſound, it is ſtruck by a ſingle pulſe of the air, which makes the ear-drum and the other membranous parts vibrate according to the nature and ſpecies of the ſtroke.
- 1850, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, […], →OCLC, canto LXXXV, page 125:
- I roved at random through the town, / [...] / And caught once more the distant shout, / The measured pulse of racing oars / Among the willows; [...]
- (figuratively) The focus of energy or vigour of an activity, place, or thing; also, the feeling of bustle, busyness, or energy in a place; the heartbeat.
- You can really feel the pulse of the city in this district.
- (chiefly biology, chemistry) An (increased) amount of a substance (such as a drug or an isotopic label) given over a short time.
- (cooking, chiefly attributively) A setting on a food processor which causes it to work in a series of short bursts rather than continuously, in order to break up ingredients without liquidizing them; also, a use of this setting.
- (music, prosody) The beat or tactus of a piece of music or verse; also, a repeated sequence of such beats.
- A brief burst of electromagnetic energy, such as light, radio waves, etc.
- 1969, “[Scientific Progress in F[iscal] Y[ear] 69: Electronics] The Photon Echo”, in Jacob Seiden, editor, OAR Progress for 1969 (OAR 69-0017; AD 699300), Arlington, Va.: Office of Aerospace Research, United States Air Force, →OCLC, page 71, column 1:
- A thin ruby crystal is illuminated by two successive intense short pulses of coherent light, t seconds apart, obtained from a ruby-laser source. As expected, the crystal will transmit the two pulses t seconds apart. But then one observes a curious additional feature: a third light pulse emerges spontanously from the crystal about t seconds following the second pulse, and still relatively intense.
- Synonym of autosoliton (“a stable solitary localized structure that arises in nonlinear spatially extended dissipative systems due to mechanisms of self-organization”)
- (also electronics) A brief increase in the strength of an electrical signal; an impulse.
- A brief burst of electromagnetic energy, such as light, radio waves, etc.
- (physiology): arrhythmia, blood pressure, heartbeat
- (music, prosody): meter, tempo
From Late Middle English pulse, Middle English pulsen (“to pulse, throb”), from Latin pulsāre, the present active infinitive of pulsō (“to push; to beat, batter, hammer, strike; to knock on; to pulsate; (figuratively) to drive or urge on, impel; to move; to agitate, disquiet, disturb”), the frequentative of pellō (“to drive, impel, propel, push; to banish, eject, expel; to set in motion; to strike”); see further at etymology 1.
pulse (third-person singular simple present pulses, present participle pulsing, simple past and past participle pulsed)
- (transitive, also figuratively) To emit or impel (something) in pulses or waves.
- 1850, W[illiam] C[ox] Bennett, “The Shadow-hunted”, in Poems, London: Chapman and Hall, […], →OCLC, page 139:
- Though a light of love she swimmeth, / Zoned with utterless desire, / And the air of her swift coming / Through thy hot veins pulseth fire.
- (transitive, chiefly biology, chemistry) To give to (something, especially a cell culture) an (increased) amount of a substance, such as a drug or an isotopic label, over a short time.
- (transitive, cooking) To operate a food processor on (some ingredient) in short bursts, to break it up without liquidizing it.
- (transitive, electronics, physics)
- To apply an electric current or signal that varies in strength to (something).
- To manipulate (an electric current, electromagnetic wave, etc.) so that it is emitted in pulses.
- (intransitive, chiefly figuratively and literary) To expand and contract repeatedly, like an artery when blood is flowing though it, or the heart; to beat, to throb, to vibrate, to pulsate.
- Synonym: undulate
- Hot blood pulsed through my veins as I grew angrier.
- The streets were dark, and all that could be seen was light pulsing from the disco.
- 1849, A[ndrew] J[ames] Symington, “To Mademoiselle Jenny Lind”, in Harebell Chimes: Or Summer Memories and Musings, London: Houlston and Stoneman; Edinburgh: W[illia]m Blackwood and Sons, →OCLC, stanza 5, page 139:
- As pulseth in thy northern skies / Th' Aurora—so, in ecstasies, / Through starry maze, my spirit flies; [...]
- 1864, James Thomson, “Vane’s Story”, in Vane’s Story, Weddah and Om-El-Bonain, and Other Poems, London: Reeves and Turner, […], published 1881, →OCLC, the story, page 54:
- None dare awake the deep affright / That pulseth in the heart of night, [...]
- 1887 February 3, F. V., “O Heart Divine!”, in Lyman Abbott and Hamilton W[right] Mabie, editors, The Christian Union, volume 35, number 5, New York, N.Y.: The Christian Union Company, →OCLC, page 31, column 2:
- O Heart Divine, that pulsest through all space, / Why dost Thou seem so far away and cold? / We miss the pressure of the arms that fold; / We long to hear Thy voice, to see Thy face. [From the New Orleans Times-Democrat.]
- (intransitive, figuratively) Of an activity, place, or thing: to bustle with energy and liveliness; to pulsate.
- March 26 2023, David Hytner, “Kane and Bukayo Saka combine against Ukraine for England’s perfect Euros start”, in The Guardian:
- The emotion had pulsed from the outset, the Ukraine players emerging from the tunnel with blue and yellow flags around their shoulders; the rendition of their anthem seeing eyes well up.
|present tense||past tense|
From Middle English puls (“(collectively) seeds of a leguminous plant used as food; leguminous plants collectively; a species of leguminous plant”), Early Middle English pols (in compounds), possibly from Anglo-Norman pus, puz, Middle French pouls, pols, pous, and Old French pous, pou (“gruel, mash, porridge”) (perhaps in the sense of a gruel made from pulses), or directly from their etymon Latin puls (“meal (coarse-ground edible part of various grains); porridge”), probably from Ancient Greek πόλτος (póltos, “porridge made from flour”), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (“dust; flour”) (perhaps by extension from *pel- (“to beat, strike; to drive; to push, thrust”), in the sense of something beaten).
pulse (countable and uncountable, plural pulses)
- (uncountable) Annual leguminous plants (such as beans, lentils, and peas) yielding grains or seeds used as food for humans or animals; (countable) such a plant; a legume.
- (uncountable) Edible grains or seeds from leguminous plants, especially in a mature, dry condition; (countable) a specific kind of such a grain or seed.
- ^ “pǒus(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “pulse, n.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2007; “pulse1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “pulsen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “pulse, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2007; “pulse1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “puls, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “pulse, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2007; “pulse2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- pulse on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- pulse (physics) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- pulse (signal processing) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- pulse (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- legume on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- “pulse”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “pulse”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- Richard DeLone [et al.] (1975), Gary E. Wittlich, editor, Aspects of Twentieth-century Music, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, →ISBN
- inflection of pulsar:
- inflection of pulsar: