I. pulse 1 /pʌls/ BrE AmE noun
[ 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 ]
1 . HEART [countable usually singular] the regular beat that can be felt, for example at your wrist, as your heart pumps blood around your body ⇨ heartbeat :
His breathing was shallow and his pulse was weak.
take sb’s pulse (=count the beats of their pulse, usually by feeling their wrist)
check/feel somebody's pulse
The doctor listened to his breathing and checked his pulse.
find a pulse (=be able to feel a pulse, which shows that someone is alive)
I held his wrist, trying to find a pulse.
She felt his neck. There was no pulse.
pulse rate (=the number of beats that can be felt in a minute)
If your pulse rate is between 90 and 100, it is likely that you are unfit.
Her pulse raced (=beat very quickly) with excitement.
2 . MUSIC [uncountable and countable] a strong regular beat in music:
the distant pulse of a steel band
3 . SOUND/LIGHT/ELECTRICITY [countable] 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] seeds such as beans, ↑ pea s , and ↑ lentil s that you can eat
⇨ have/keep your finger on the pulse at ↑ finger 1 (6)
• • •
▪ take somebody's pulse (=count the beats of their pulse)
Remember to take your pulse at intervals while you are exercising.
▪ check/feel somebody's pulse
The nurse left the room after checking the girl's pulse.
▪ feel for a pulse (=try to find and check someone's pulse)
I felt for a pulse, but I couldn't find one.
▪ find a pulse (=be able to feel a pulse, which shows that someone is alive)
To her relief, she found a pulse.
▪ somebody's pulse beats
His pulse began to beat with a fierce rhythm.
▪ somebody's pulse races (=beats very quickly)
His long fingers brushed hers, sending her pulse racing.
▪ somebody's pulse quickens (=starts to beat faster)
He heard a footfall in the passage outside and felt his pulse quicken.
The boy's pulse was very weak.
He's breathing better. The pulse is stronger too.
Symptoms include a rapid pulse and dry skin.
Her pulse was slow but steady.
A normal pulse is between 70 and 90 beats a minute.
■ pulse + NOUN
▪ pulse rate (=how fast your pulse beats)
The doctor checked my weight and pulse rate.
▪ pulse beat
The rhythm was steady, as regular as a pulse beat.
II. pulse 2 BrE AmE verb
1 . [intransitive] to move or flow with a steady quick beat or sound:
She felt the blood pulsing through her veins.
Colored lights pulsed in time to the music.
2 . [intransitive] if a feeling or emotion pulses through someone, they feel it very strongly
Excitement pulsed through the crowd.
3 . [intransitive and transitive] to push a button on a ↑ food processor to make the machine go on and off regularly, rather than work continuously:
Pulse several times until the mixture looks like oatmeal.