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pulse Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun (electronics) a sharp transient wave in the normal electrical state (or a series of such transients)
    pulsing; pulsation; impulse.
    • the pulsations seemed to be coming from a star
  2. noun the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart
    beat; heartbeat; pulsation.
    • he could feel the beat of her heart
  3. noun the rate at which the heart beats; usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person's health
    pulse rate; heart rate.
  4. noun edible seeds of various pod-bearing plants (peas or beans or lentils etc.)
  5. verb expand and contract rhythmically; beat rhythmically
    throb; pulsate.
    • The baby's heart was pulsating again after the surgeon massaged it
  6. verb produce or modulate (as electromagnetic waves) in the form of short bursts or pulses or cause an apparatus to produce pulses
    • pulse waves
    • a transmitter pulsed by an electronic tube
  7. verb drive by or as if by pulsation
    • A soft breeze pulsed the air

Pulse noun
OE. puls, L. puls, pultis, a thick pap or pottage made of meal, pulse, etc. See Poultice, and cf. Pousse.
  1. Leguminous plants, or their seeds, as beans, pease, etc.
    If all the world Should, in a pet of temperance, feed on pulse. Milton.
Pulse noun
OE. pous, OF. pous, F. pouls, fr. L. pulsus (sc. venarum), the beating of the pulse, the pulse, from pellere, pulsum, to beat, strike; cf. Gr. to swing, shake, to shake. Cf. Appeal, Compel, Impel, Push.
  1. (Physiol.) The beating or throbbing of the heart or blood vessels, especially of the arteries. ✍ In an artery the pulse is due to the expansion and contraction of the elastic walls of the artery by the action of the heart upon the column of blood in the arterial system. On the commencement of the diastole of the ventricle, the semilunar valves are closed, and the aorta recoils by its elasticity so as to force part of its contents into the vessels farther onwards. These, in turn, as they already contain a certain quantity of blood, expand, recover by an elastic recoil, and transmit the movement with diminished intensity. Thus a series of movements, gradually diminishing in intensity, pass along the arterial system (see the Note under Heart). For the sake of convenience, the radial artery at the wrist is generally chosen to detect the precise character of the pulse. The pulse rate varies with age, position, sex, stature, physical and psychical influences, etc.
  2. Any measured or regular beat; any short, quick motion, regularly repeated, as of a medium in the transmission of light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration; pulsation; impulse; beat; movement.
    The measured pulse of racing oars. Tennyson.
    When the ear receives any simple sound, it is struck by a single pulse of the air, which makes the eardrum and the other membranous parts vibrate according to the nature and species of the stroke. Burke.
    = to take the pulse of
Pulse intransitive verb
  1. To beat, as the arteries; to move in pulses or beats; to pulsate; to throb. Ray.
Pulse transitive verb
See Pulsate, Pulse a beating.
  1. To drive by a pulsation; to cause to pulsate. R.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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