One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The action or an act of driving or pushing. Now rare.
2Psychoanalysis. An unconscious drive or impulse influencing the development of human personality.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Walkington (c1575–1621), Church of England clergyman and author. From French pulsion action of pushing and its etymon post-classical Latin pulsion-, pulsio action of beating or striking in battle, action of driving out from classical Latin puls-, past participial stem of pellere to drive, push + -iō. Compare Italian pulsione.
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