American English

Definition of pulse noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[usually singular] the regular beat of blood as it is sent around the body, which can be felt in different places, especially on the inside part of the wrist; the number of times the blood beats in a minute a strong/weak pulse an abnormally high pulse rate The doctor took/felt my pulse. Fear sent her pulse racing (= made it beat very quickly).
  2. 2a strong regular beat in music synonym rhythm the throbbing pulse of the drums
  3. 3a single short increase in the amount of light, sound, or electricity produced by a machine, etc. pulse waves sound pulses
  4. Idioms
    have/keep your finger on the pulse (of something)
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    to always be aware of the most recent developments in a particular situation
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pulse