Definition of impetus noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɪmpɪtəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmpɪtəs//
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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] something that encourages a process or activity to develop more quickly synonym stimulus The debate seems to have lost much of its initial impetus. impetus to something/to do something to give (a) new/fresh impetus to something The Prime Minister’s support will give (an) added impetus to the campaign against crime. impetus for something His articles provided the main impetus for change.
  2. 2[uncountable] (specialist) the force or energy with which something moves
  3. Word Originmid 17th cent.: from Latin, ‘assault, force’, from impetere ‘assail’, from in- ‘towards’ + petere ‘seek’.Extra examples Each new rumour added fresh impetus to the smear campaign. His disappointment in the World Championships provided the necessary impetus to give everything for this final race. Much of the impetus for change came from customers’ opinions. The main impetus behind the move west was to find gold and other minerals. The movement is steadily gaining impetus. The riots lent impetus to attempts to improve conditions for prisoners. The slope added impetus to his speed. With the death of its founder, the campaign lost much of its impetus. the impetus for arms control agreements the impetus towards urban development The Prime Minister’s support will give added impetus to the campaign.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: impetus