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



    BrE BrE//pʌls//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pʌls//
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  1. 1[usually singular] the regular beat of blood as it is sent around the body, that 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. 4 pulses [plural] the seeds of some plants that are eaten as food, such as peas and lentils Pulses are a good source of protein. See related entries: Crops
  5. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 late Middle English: from Latin pulsus ‘beating’, from pellere ‘to drive, beat’. noun sense 4 Middle English: from Old French pols, from Latin puls ‘porridge of meal or pulse’; related to pollen.Extra examples Last time I took my pulse, it was a little fast. My at-rest pulse rate is usually about 80 beats per minute. She felt her pulse quicken as she recognized the voice. She reached in through the driver’s broken window and checked for a pulse. The doctor felt to see if he had a pulse. There was little to quicken the pulse in his dull routine. We could feel the throbbing pulse of the drums through our feet.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 American Dictionary entry: pulse