- actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses: an impulsive child.
- having the power or effect of impelling; characterized by impulsion: impulsive forces.
- inciting to action: the impulsive effects of a revolutionary idea.
- Mechanics. (of forces) acting momentarily; not continuous.
- characterized by actions based on sudden desires, whims, or inclinations rather than careful thoughtan impulsive man
- based on emotional impulses or whims; spontaneousan impulsive kiss
- forceful, inciting, or impelling
- (of physical forces) acting for a short time; not continuous
- (of a sound) brief, loud, and having a wide frequency range
early 15c., originally in reference to medicine that reduces swelling or humors, from Middle French impulsif or directly from Medieval Latin impulsivus, from Latin impuls-, past participle stem of impellere (see impel). Of persons, “rash, characterized by impulses,” from 1847.
- Inclined or tending to act on impulse rather than thought.
- Motivated by or resulting from impulse.