pulsate


pulsate
pulsate, pulse, beat, throb, palpitate can mean to manifest a rhythmical movement such as or similar to the one which occurs in the circulatory system when blood is forced along by alternate contractions and relaxations of the ventricles of the heart. The same distinctions in implications and connotations are to be found in the nouns pulsation, pulse, beat, throb, palpitation when they are used of this rhythmical movement or of one distinct step in it.
Pulsate and pulsation carry few specific or distinguishing connotations, but they usually imply regularity, continuity, and vigor in the rhythm whether it is apparent in movements or in sounds
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when the heart no longer pulsates, death occurs

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great effort pulsating from the heart of this small island— Sir Winston Churchill

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the pulsations of its engine had died awayBennett

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long heavy pulsation of airplanes passing over— Thirkell

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Pulse, the verb, carries a strong implication of impelled movement; in distinction from pulsate it may also connote a lively succession of spurts, waves, or gushes; thus, the arteries pulsate as the blood pulses through them. The term is more common in general and literary than in technical use. It sometimes takes as its subject what flows or moves in this fashion (as the blood) and at other times what evidences the rhythmical movement (as the heart or blood vessels)
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the pulsing waters of the sea

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through the tensed veins on his forehead the blood could be seen to pulse in nervous, staccato bounds— Donn Byrne

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Eustacia ... set inwardly pulsing by his words— Hardy

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they move and breathe in an environment that pulses and glows— Mencken

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Pulse, the noun, is chiefly a technical term; even its extended use is affected by or dependent on the term's meaning in physiology. In this sense, pulse usually denotes the number of pulsations of the arteries in a minute as observed commonly by feeling the radial artery of the wrist
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a normal pulse

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feel a patient's pulse

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an intermittent pulse

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in his eardrums hammers his heavy pulseLowell

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In extended use pulse, when it does not take the place of pulsation is usually a metaphoric extension of the technical use
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Rome was the heart and pulse of the empire . . . and on its well-being hung the future of the civilized world— Buchan

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one felt the pulse of the village in the pub— Mais

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Beat, both verb and noun, is the ordinary nontechnical word often used in place of pulsate and pulsation and sometimes in place of pulse. It stresses rhythmical recurrence of sounds more often than rhythmical and continuous alternation in movement
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he could hear the beat of his heart

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his breathing was hard and ... the blood beat in his ears and eyes— Robertson Davies

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a question was beating unanswered at the back of his brain— Glas-gow

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It is the more usual designation for something (as the tick of a clock, a stroke on a drum, and the accented syllable in verse or note in music) that strikes the ear at regular intervals
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the beat of a bird's wing against a windowpane

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the beating of tom-toms

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Both the noun and verb throb imply vigorous and often violent or painful pulsation (throb of drum and timbal's rattle— Housman)
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the throbbing of an abscessed tooth

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Either is especially appropriate when there is the intent to imply excitement, strain, or emotional stress
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the love which fills the letter, which throbs and burns in it— H. O. Taylor

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here is a captain, let him tell the tale; your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak— Shak.

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the throb of their activity is felt throughout the whole body politic— R. M. Dawson

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Palpitate and palpitation imply rapid, often abnormally rapid and fluttering, pulsation. In medical use the terms commonly imply overexertion, violent emotion, or a diseased condition; in extended use, however, the words more often imply a rapid vibration, quivering, or shaking, without any connotation of something amiss
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then, delicate and palpitating as a silver reed, she stood up in the soft light of the morning— Hewlett

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though the book palpitates with l'amour, nothing like simple ordinary human love is to be seen anywhere— Barrett

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Analogous words: vibrate, fluctuate, waver, oscillate (see SWING): quiver, shudder, quaver, tremble (see SHAKE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Pulsate — Pul sate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Pulsated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pulsating}.] [L. pulsatus, p. p. of pulsare to beat, strike, v. intens. fr. pellere to beat, strike, drive. See {Pulse} a beating, and cf. {Pulse}, v.] To throb, as a pulse; to beat, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pulsate — (v.) 1741, from L. pulsatus, pp. of pulsare to beat (see PULSATION (Cf. pulsation)). Related: Pulsated; pulsating; pulsatile …   Etymology dictionary

  • pulsate — / pulse [v] quiver, beat drum, fluctuate, hammer, oscillate, palpitate, pound, pump, roar, throb, thrum, thud, thump, tick, vibrate; concepts 147,185 pulse [n] rhythm, beat beating, oscillation, pulsation, stroke, throb, throbbing, vibration;… …   New thesaurus

  • pulsate — ► VERB 1) expand and contract with strong regular movements. 2) produce a regular throbbing sensation or sound. 3) (pulsating) very exciting. DERIVATIVES pulsation noun pulsator noun. ORIGIN Latin pul …   English terms dictionary

  • pulsate — [pul′sāt΄] vi. pulsated, pulsating [< L pulsatus, pp. of pulsare, to beat < pulsus: see PULSE1] 1. to beat or throb rhythmically, as the heart 2. to vibrate; quiver …   English World dictionary

  • pulsate — UK [pʌlˈseɪt] / US [ˈpʌlˌseɪt] verb [intransitive] Word forms pulsate : present tense I/you/we/they pulsate he/she/it pulsates present participle pulsating past tense pulsated past participle pulsated 1) to make movements or sounds in a regular… …   English dictionary

  • pulsate — /pul sayt/, v.i., pulsated, pulsating. 1. to expand and contract rhythmically, as the heart; beat; throb. 2. to vibrate; quiver. [1785 95; < L pulsatus, ptp. of pulsare to batter, strike, make (strings) vibrate. See PULSE1, ATE1] Syn. 1. pulse.… …   Universalium

  • pulsate — pul|sate [pʌlˈseıt US ˈpʌlseıt] v [Date: 1700 1800; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of pulsare, from pulsus; PULSE1] 1.) to make sounds or movements that are strong and regular like a heart beating ▪ I could see the veins in his neck pulsating …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pulsate — pul|sate [ pʌl,seıt ] verb intransitive 1. ) to make movements or sounds in a regular pattern: Music pulsated from the bar into the street. 2. ) LITERARY to express life and feelings in a way that makes people excited: pulsate with: Every song… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pulsate — verb the alien pods continued to pulsate, as if at any moment writhing creatures would emerge Syn: palpitate, pulse, throb, pump, undulate, surge, heave, rise and fall; beat, thump, drum, thrum; flutter, quiver …   Thesaurus of popular words