|Origin:||impulsus, from the past participle of impellere; IMPEL|
1 [uncountable and countable]
a sudden strong desire to do something without thinking about whether it is a sensible thing to do [= urge]
impulse to do something
a sudden impulse to laugh
Marge's first impulse was to run.
Gerry couldn't resist the impulse to kiss her.
On impulse, I picked up the phone and rang her.
Most beginners buy plants on impulse and then hope for the best.
impulse buying/shopping (=when you buy things that you had not planned to buy)
2 [countable] technicalHPE
a short electrical signal that travels in one direction along a nerve or wire:
The eye converts light signals to nerve impulses.
a reason or aim that causes a particular kind of activity or behaviour:
It is the passions which provide the main impulse of music.