Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: HUMAN

Sense: 1-4
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: pouls, from Latin pulsus 'beating', past participle of pellere 'to hit'
Sense: 5
Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: pouls 'porridge', from Latin puls

pulse

1 noun
     
pulse1
1

heart

[countable usually singular]
a) HBH the regular beat that can be felt, for example at your wrist, as your heart pumps blood around your body [↪ heartbeat]:
The doctor listened to his breathing and checked his pulse.
His breathing was shallow and his pulse was weak.
find/detect a pulse (=check that someone is alive by trying to feel the beat of their pulse)
In an emergency it can be difficult to find a pulse.
She felt his neck. There was no pulse.
b) also pulse rateHBH the number of heart beats per minute
take/feel somebody's pulse (=count how many times someone's heart beats in a minute, usually by feeling their wrist)
Her pulse raced (=beat very quickly) with excitement.
2

music

[uncountable and countable]C a strong regular beat in music:
the distant pulse of a steel band
3

sound/light/electricity

[countable]TEE an amount of sound, light, or electricity that continues for a very short time
4

feelings/opinions

[uncountable] the ideas, feelings, or opinions that are most important to a particular group of people or have the greatest influence on them at a particular time:
Clinton had an uncanny ability to sense the pulse of the nation.
5

food

pulses

[plural]DF seeds such as beans, peas, and lentils that you can eat

➔ have/keep your finger on the pulse

at finger1 (6)
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