Main definitions of pulse in English

: pulse1pulse2

pulse1

noun

  • 1A rhythmical throbbing of the arteries as blood is propelled through them, typically as felt in the wrists or neck.

    ‘the doctor found a faint pulse’
    ‘the idea was enough to set my pulse racing’
    • ‘Cassandra nodded and knelt by his side, gently turning his head and placing her hand at the pulse point on his neck.’
    • ‘He can breathe, and has a pulse and blood pressure.’
    • ‘According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are six pulses in each wrist, which make up the 12 meridians in the body.’
    • ‘He then described how he pulled her out of the bath and laid her on the floor before checking her wrist and neck for a pulse, but found none.’
    • ‘A migraine history or stroke-like disease or absent neck pulses suggested central nervous system disease.’
    • ‘If the pulse stops or blood pressure gets too high, it sends out a signal to medical services, letting them know what the problem is and how to get to the wearer.’
    • ‘When she checked her pulse on her neck and wrist she found nothing.’
    • ‘Seytie watched the weak pulse on his muscular neck and placed a hand on it, wishing him strength.’
    • ‘He lay completely still, not breathing, and when Alethea had felt his wrist for a pulse, she found one, but it was very faint.’
    • ‘First he checks the pulse of my left wrist, then the pulse from my right wrist.’
    • ‘Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed, with restoration of a pulse at 50 bpm but no blood pressure.’
    • ‘The pulse in her wrists and hands were throbbing.’
    • ‘She could see the blood in his pulse just near his neck.’
    • ‘I'm not going to get any older and I don't have a pulse or blood pressure.’
    • ‘She then placed her fingers on Hunter's neck to find his pulse point.’
    • ‘If your doctor has told you that you have a narrowed carotid artery, check your pulse at your wrist.’
    • ‘I was bitten in bed, Sunday morning, once on each of the pulse points on my wrists.’
    heartbeat, pulsation, pulsing, throb, throbbing, vibration, pounding, thudding, thud, thumping, thump, drumming
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Each successive throb of the arteries or heart.
      • ‘This study therefore does not support the teaching of the advanced trauma life support course on the relation between palpable pulses and systolic blood pressure.’
      • ‘The blood vessels that carry newly oxygenated blood from the lungs back to the heart pulse.’
      • ‘His heart pounded in slow pulses, yet he couldn't move.’
      • ‘She could hear the dying pulses of people's hearts somewhere nearby.’
  • 2A single vibration or short burst of sound, electric current, light, or other wave.

    ‘a pulse of gamma rays’
    as modifier ‘a pulse generator’
    • ‘A pulse of radio waves then rearranges them, creating a signal that is passed to a computer, producing an image.’
    • ‘The technique uses extremely short pulses of intense laser light to focus energy in a very small volume.’
    • ‘Physicists have used ultrashort pulses of light to control the motion of electrons ejected from molecules and to produce electron beams just a few nanometres in length.’
    • ‘Radar works by emitting pulses of electromagnetic waves toward a target and detecting a small portion of those waves that are reflected back to the receiving antenna.’
    • ‘Digital cell phones send out compressed information through microwave pulses of electromagnetic radiation.’
    • ‘During the course of the laser pulse, the electric field of the light wave oscillates about a dozen times.’
    • ‘Now a team has found that extremely brief light pulses reflect strongly in one direction from single, miniscule water droplets, by generating an intense plasma within the drop.’
    • ‘Although short pulses of radio waves briefly disturb this spin alignment, the spins promptly realign in the direction of the magnetic field.’
    • ‘Once per cycle, at the Rayleigh collapse, the bubble emits a short pulse of light that typically lasts 100-300 ps.’
    • ‘If you use an ultrashort pulse of laser light instead of white light, the pulse will also break up, shedding smaller bits called precursors as it goes.’
    • ‘Pulses of scattered light and fluorescence are collected and converted to electric current pulses by optical sensors and classified.’
    • ‘But instead of bouncing radio waves off its target, it uses short pulses of laser light to detect tiny particles, gases, or molecules in the atmosphere.’
    • ‘The shorter pulse wave forms, such as microwaves, are far more effective against electronic equipment and more difficult to harden against.’
    • ‘The researchers used laser pulses to produce a wave packet that contained the outer electron of a lithium atom and traveled around the nucleus on an elongated elliptical orbit.’
    • ‘As the sonographer moves the transducer back and forth over your skin, crystals inside of the transducer emit pulses of sound waves that travel into your body.’
    • ‘The bubble expanded and then collapsed like one created by acoustic waves, emitting a pulse of light.’
    • ‘A billboard in Como, Italy, illustrates the spectrum of a pulse of light as it leaves a crystal where the speed of a light wave depends on its intensity.’
    • ‘By precisely controlling the intensity, wavelength and duration of extremely short pulses of light, we can manipulate electronic processes at the atomic level.’
    • ‘An experiment appearing in the 9 July PRL uses some of the world's shortest pulses of x-ray light to watch an oxygen molecule flip on a platinum surface.’
    • ‘A short pulse or wave of electromagnetic radiation is transmitted from the system into the ground.’
    burst, blast, spurt, eruption, impulse, surge
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A musical beat or other regular rhythm.
      • ‘Gardiner's performances have tremendous drive and energy, yet he knows how to slow the pulse and allow his soloists to shine in the quieter moments.’
      • ‘The pattern of regular pulses (and the arrangement of their constituent parts) by which a piece of music is organized.’
      • ‘What is unusual is not the number of different frequencies (like different pulses in a rhythm section), but that they include both slow cycles and much faster ones.’
      • ‘I just began dancing and all I could hear was this voice telling me to dance, to feel the pulse, the beat of life.’
      • ‘We danced close, and I felt the beat pulse through the sand and into my body.’
      • ‘Zwei, by insinuating a steady pulse into its musical gymnastics, seems to slightly rejuvenate it.’
      • ‘Much more conventional a string quartet format now, it has half the pulse of Bartók but twice the melody of Tippett.’
      • ‘That pulse creates a musical structure that forces you to be aware of a beginning, middle, and end.’
      • ‘His Serenade to Eve gently pulses in a relaxed style intended to make the lady smile.’
      • ‘Chapter Three is about rhythm, pulse, timing and musical structure.’
      • ‘In misinterpreting the half-note pulse, the performance tempo was bound to be twice as slow as it was meant to be.’
      • ‘The student who is not internalizing rhythm and pulse will invariably lose track of the beat.’
      • ‘Throughout all of this, Rev's drones, hisses, beats, pulses and stabs of keyboard noise were never crowded, remained stark and expressed an entire world of suspense and terror.’
      • ‘Featuring a funereal organ line and a weak pulse of a drum beat, ‘Let It Die’ yields one of the album's stillest moments.’
      • ‘Within minutes they were all on the next floor, the pulse of music beating louder once again.’
      • ‘The music had started playing again, but she ignored the steady pulse of the beat that shook through her body.’
      • ‘There are grace notes and syncopations aplenty, with swing rhythms supplying the underlying pulse.’
      • ‘At ‘OK’ parking, groups of young people with foam cups in their hands hang around the open doors and boots of cars from which beat music pulses into the darkness.’
      • ‘They fall into the basket, the correct notation shows, a click track plays four preparatory pulses, then the rhythm.’
      • ‘It is fairly easy to transcribe it in a musical staff, with a pulse, clear rhythms and even melodic lines formed by the interplay of these two voices and the burning match sound.’
      rhythm, beat, rhythmical flow, rhythmical pattern, measure, metre, tempo, cadence
      View synonyms
  • 3The central point of energy and organization in an area or activity.

    ‘those close to the financial and economic pulse maintain that there have been fundamental changes’
    • ‘The individual with one hand on the pulse of the organization and the other hand on the purse.’
    • ‘Los Angeles has long been one of the critical pulses of the economic and cultural condition of twentieth-century capitalism.’
    • ‘The Arab majority is on the east - the old town and the financial pulse of the city.’
    • ‘They are the pulse of the organization, and without good processes at this level, the organization will not succeed.’
    • ‘Pease and Grzybowski developed an approach that incorporated pulses of nesting activity by allowing the number of active nests to fluctuate throughout the breeding season.’
  • 4Biochemistry
    A measured amount of an isotopic label given to a culture of cells.

    • ‘The same principle is being used in human studies that employ short laser pulses to target pigmented cells containing endogenous melanin particles.’
    • ‘After the pulse, the cell repolarized uniformly to the plateau potential.’
    • ‘If the cells or islets were not synchronized we would observe a flat, averaged signal even though the single cells and islets released insulin in pulses.’
    • ‘The complex was allowed to dissociate for 500 s, then residually bound ligand was removed using a pulse of acidic glycine.’
    • ‘These data indicate that submicrosecond pulses achieve temporally distinct effects on living cells compared to microsecond pulses.’

verb

  • 1no object Throb rhythmically; pulsate.

    ‘a knot of muscles at the side of his jaw pulsed’
    • ‘The exhaust-smeared stones pulsed and rippled with life, warm and vital as a stroked animal.’
    • ‘Her blood pulsed quickly, throbbing waves rushing against the sand, salt burning into her wounds as she tried to escape the thoughts, tried to block them out…’
    • ‘To him, life was pulsing with tragedy and passion.’
    • ‘The Giant Pacific Octopus is a nightmare of curling limbs and pulsing, translucent flesh.’
    • ‘Each person needs between 700 and 900 shots of laser light, which feels like a little jet of hot water pulsing against the skin for a fraction of a second.’
    • ‘I get words and nonsense phrases more often than anything else, pacing alongside me, kicking up the dust, rhythmic and pulsing, forming in groups, setting up rhymes, trying to turn into poems.’
    • ‘Quinn stood for a moment; a little muscle pulsed on his jaw.’
    • ‘It's a Dali-esque canvas or imagist poem on celluloid - but meaning what? - which pulses with claustrophobia, panic, eroticism and despair.’
    • ‘Primal roots in the drum beats of ancient time now pulsing into this weird new world we all must face, one way or the other.’
    • ‘In the sudden silence my ear drums continue to pulse, as if the barrage of sound jolted them still.’
    • ‘Mascara all worn away by this point, trance pulsing to take the edge off things… Sigh.’
    • ‘To me, they are places pulsing with passion and life.’
    • ‘The result is a world constantly in motion, both the background of buildings and trees, and people themselves, all gently oscillating, pulsing, and vibrating.’
    • ‘His head was killing him, throbbing, pulsing, and giving him a sort of headache he'd never before experienced.’
    • ‘Excitement and awe of wonderful, magical things pulsing through me as I pushed through the crowd standing in front of Simpson's and Eaton's.’
    • ‘Hours after watching the film, I can close my eyes and see those incredible battle scenes pulsing and throbbing in my skull.’
    • ‘We're talking about the aching, pulsing, throbbing pain of headaches.’
    • ‘The darker egg, however, was pulsing and throbbing, showing signs of life.’
    • ‘Her skin was pale grey and her veins pulsed, red and blue, easily visible.’
    • ‘She felt a steady thumping and Cain's hand seemed to pulse with each thump.’
    throb, pulsate, vibrate, palpitate, beat, pound, thud, thump, hammer, drum, thrum, oscillate, reverberate
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Modulate (a wave or beam) so that it becomes a series of pulses.

    ‘the current was pulsed’
    ‘pulsed outputs’
    • ‘Pyroelectric sensors measure only pulsed or modulated laser beams.’
    • ‘The subjects, while still legible, appear to dematerialize into pulsing waves of contrastingly colored parallel lines.’
    • ‘Fluoroscopy uses a continuous or pulsed X-ray beam to create moving images of a working body structure or process.’
    • ‘A light beam is pulsed onto the veins to seal them off and cause them to collapse.’
    • ‘Active ground-based remote sensing uses pulsed electromagnetic radiation sources such as lasers and radars to probe atmospheric structure.’
    1. 2.1 Apply a pulsed signal to (a device)
      ‘a loudspeaker pulsed by a capacitor discharge’
      • ‘However, the reference signal needed by the ECM to pulse the injectors is supplied by a separate hall switch.’
      • ‘The first laser was built by Maiman4 in 1960 by pulsing intense light from a flash lamp onto a ruby rod to stimulate emission in the visible spectrum.’
      • ‘In the AC controller, for each phase you need one set of transistors to pulse the voltage and another set to reverse the polarity.’
      • ‘Radio frequency generating systems and methods for forming pulse plasma using gradually pulsed time-modulated radio frequency power’
      • ‘A lone vessel off their starboard, not much larger than them, was pulsing its engine to generating an area in which FTL engines could not be used.’
    2. 2.2Biochemistry
      short for pulse-label
      • ‘However, it has not been determined whether pulsed light excitation is superior to cw light excitation in terms of treatable tissue depth.’
      • ‘Between FBP pulses the ADP level rises and lowers the plateau fraction.’
      • ‘PIE is the use of two or more pulsed excitation sources, alternated with sufficient delay that all the emitted photons from one laser pulse are detected before the next pulse of a different color arrives.’
      • ‘Recently, high-resolution pulsed EPR techniques have been developed that can reveal detailed information on the environment of the paramagnetic transition metals.’
      • ‘Prior to pulse radiolysis, solutions were purged with pure Ar or NzO.’

Phrases

  • feel (or take) the pulse of

    • 1Determine the heart rate of (someone) by feeling and timing the pulsation of an artery.

      ‘a nurse came in and took his pulse’
      • ‘Or if you feel the pulse of this person, it is not pulsating.’
      1. 1.1Ascertain the general mood or opinion of.
        ‘the conference will be an opportunity to feel the pulse of those working in the field’
        • ‘It's like taking the pulse of the continent's unconscious.’
        • ‘Pollsters taking the pulse of the general population use publicly available lists of phone numbers or addresses and randomly sample the nation.’
        • ‘Organizations that stop to take the pulse of changing times and adjust their course are better able to move into new periods of growth and prosperity.’
        • ‘All that ACT can do is change its leader and go to Auckland and say it is taking the pulse of Auckland for the next 2 months.’
        • ‘What-ifs were discussed, and we began taking the pulse of the industry differently.’
        • ‘Indeed, when Kendall takes the pulse of the province, he strays far from the hospital wards to examine such factors as income, education, housing, the environment and even the economy.’
        • ‘I was hoping to get a feel for the flow of the votes, to take the pulse of the beating heart that is the life force of American Democracy.’
        • ‘One good way to take the pulse of the nation is to scan the vast electronic yard sale that is eBay.’
        • ‘Then you can appreciate Africa Remix for what it is; a well sequenced selection of top quality grooves that takes the pulse of 21st century African roots music and finds it to be in surprisingly rude health.’
        • ‘This is a dark, complex, layered film that takes the pulse of modern marriage and finds it racing both with misdirected lust and barely stifled anger.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin pulsus ‘beating’, from pellere ‘to drive, beat’.

Pronunciation

pulse

/pʌls/

Main definitions of pulse in English

: pulse1pulse2

pulse2

noun

  • 1The edible seed of a leguminous plant, for example a chickpea, lentil, or bean.

    ‘use pulses such as peas and lentils to eke out meat dishes’
    • ‘Now, new research suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, including spinach, beans and pulses, olive oil and fish helps in the treatment of the joint condition rheumatoid arthritis too.’
    • ‘Used as a dried pulse, mung beans need no soaking, cook relatively quickly, have a good flavour, and are easily digestible: a collection of merits which few other legumes can match.’
    • ‘The remaining half consists of mixed pulses - the edible seeds of pod plants - and seeds which are germinated before use.’
    • ‘Try to resist the temptation to top up your blood sugar levels with chocolate and keep your diet light, choosing lightly-cooked or steamed vegetables and fish, nuts, seeds, pulses and brown rice.’
    • ‘Magnesium-rich foods that may help to build bone include green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses.’
    • ‘Lentils are one of the most underused pulses - true, they need a bit of spicing up, but they are beautifully robust in flavour.’
    • ‘Legumes, pulses, bean curd (soya paneer), rice, cereals and potatoes contribute to vegetarians' low body fat.’
    • ‘Instead, eat more foods that release sugar into the bloodstream slowly: wholewheat and wholegrain foods, brown rice, pulses and legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables.’
    • ‘Legal exports include timber, rice, beans and pulses, fish, garments, precious stones, and rice.’
    • ‘Other sources of fibre are wholegrain cereal, wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice and pulses such as beans and lentils.’
    • ‘Certain foods may cause excess wind, including pulses (peas, beans etc), dried fruit and peanuts.’
    • ‘As a rule, beans and pulses are nutritious foods, and research published just last month suggests that eating more of them reduces the risk of heart disease.’
    • ‘As part of the Lenten season and when rice eventually became a staple in people's diet, vegetables, pulses, and dry cod were added to the mix.’
    • ‘Sometimes, the disease is more severe and the patient develops lethargy, cold extremities, poor pulses and low blood pressure.’
    • ‘Eggs, beans, pulses and lentils are also part of a healthy diet, but you don't have to eat these every day.’
    • ‘The great thing about this light, warm salad is the sharp contrast of flavour and texture; the nutty lentils with the fresh green peas, the earthy pulses and the sharpness of the lime.’
    • ‘Foods rich in vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium and silicon can also relieve symptoms, so include green vegetables, seeds, pulses, fish, brown rice and bananas in your diet.’
    • ‘Protein foods, such as lentils, pulses and meat are recommended, though meat from animals that have been raised in their natural habitat is best.’
    • ‘Eating plenty of magnesium - rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses and nuts may help to ensure adequate intake of this nutrient.’
    • ‘Once there, we must negotiate our way through the endless stalls of second-hand clothes, shoes and belts to discover the hot red, orange and yellow curry powders and the earthy tones of coffee beans, pulses and tea.’
    1. 1.1 A plant producing pulses.
      • ‘The chief staple crops include a variety of grains, such as teff, wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, and millet; coffee; pulses; and oilseed.’
      • ‘Nutrient pulses can induce blooms of nuisance phytoplankton, especially in lakes that have been heavily impacted by humans.’
      • ‘They will also help to widen the food security basket through inclusion of local grains like millets, pulses, oilseeds and tubers.’
      • ‘Biomass losses from pulses of heavy canopy tree mortality may have consequences for ecosystem resilience.’
      • ‘Farmers would increase production of field crops and the mix would change with a shift from feed grains to milling cereals, oilseeds and pulses.’
      • ‘Yet today the land yields respectable if not bumper crops of wheat, pulses and vegetables, and some migrants have returned.’
      • ‘The main crops in the momentum toward optimum self-sufficiency include roots and tubers, pulses, fruit, leafy vegetables and condiments.’
      • ‘Sugarcane, tobacco, and cotton are grown as cash crops, in addition to chilies, oilseeds, and pulses (legumes).’
      • ‘The genetic diversity needed to sustain healthy food crops in the future, is contained today in the wild relatives of our cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables.’
      • ‘The second is green manuring, which can be done with 20 plants, including cereals, pulses, oilseeds and spices.’
      • ‘The production of crops such as pulses and oilseeds has improved considerably.’
      • ‘For this purpose, all farm families should agree to grow only low water requiring but high value crops like pulses and oilseeds.’
      • ‘The list of crops affected by the delayed monsoon is long, and oilseeds, coarse cereals and pulses top it.’
      • ‘Now the farm has dairy and beef cattle, veal calves, pigs and sheep as well as cereal crops, pulses and vegetables.’
      • ‘Usually the finds of grape remains form a very small proportion of the total botanical material recovered, the bulk of which is usually the seeds of annual crops such as cereals, pulses, and oilseeds.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French pols, from Latin puls ‘porridge of meal or pulse’; related to pollen.

Pronunciation

pulse

/pʌls/