Stimulus Stim"u*lus, n.; pl. {Stimuli}. [L., for stigmulus, akin to L. instigare to stimulate. See {Instigare}, {Stick}, v. t.] 1. A goad; hence, something that rouses the mind or spirits; an incentive; as, the hope of gain is a powerful stimulus to labor and action. [1913 Webster]

2. That which excites or produces a temporary increase of vital action, either in the whole organism or in any of its parts; especially (Physiol.), any substance or agent capable of evoking the activity of a nerve or irritable muscle, or capable of producing an impression upon a sensory organ or more particularly upon its specific end organ. [1913 Webster]

Note: Of the stimuli applied to the sensory apparatus, physiologists distinguish two kinds: (a) {Homologous stimuli}, which act only upon the end organ, and for whose action the sense organs are especially adapted, as the rods and cones of the retina for the vibrations of the either. (b) {Heterologous stimuli}, which are mechanical, chemical, electrical, etc., and act upon the nervous elements of the sensory apparatus along their entire course, producing, for example, the flash of light beheld when the eye is struck. --Landois & Stirling. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • stimulus — [ stimylys ] n. m. • 1795; mot lat. sc.; cf. a. fr. stimule « aiguillon » et fig. (XVIe); de stimuler ♦ Physiol. Cause externe ou interne capable de provoquer la réaction d un système excitable. ⇒ excitant. « lorsque tel organe [...] se contracte …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • stimulus — stim‧u‧lus [ˈstɪmjləs] noun [singular, uncountable] something that helps a process to develop more quickly or strongly: stimulus to • The discovery of oil acted as a stimulus to the local economy. ˌfiscal ˈstimulus ECONOMICS an attempt to make… …   Financial and business terms

  • stimulus — stimulus, stimulant, excitant, incitement, impetus can all mean an agent that arouses a person or a lower organism or a particualr organ or tissue to activity. Only the first three words have definite and common technical use. Stimulus, in this… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Stimulus — may refer to:*Sha Stimuli, a brooklyn based rapper. *Stimulus (band), an experimental band *Stimulus (physiology), something external that influences an activity *Stimulus (psychology), a concept in behaviorism *Input to a system in other fields… …   Wikipedia

  • STIMULUS — apud Terentium Phormione, Act. 1. sc. 2. v. 28. Nam quae inscitia est Adversum stimulos calces, supple iactare? κέντρον est Aeschylo, Agamemn. v. 1620. Πρὸς κέντρα μὴ λάκτιζε et Scriptori sacro Actorum c. 9. versu 5. et c. 26. v. 14. ubi eadem… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • stimulus — plural stimuli, 1680s, originally as a medical term, something that goads a lazy organ (often the male member), from Mod.L. stimulus goad (see STIMULATION (Cf. stimulation)). General sense is from 1791. Psychological sense is first recorded 1894 …   Etymology dictionary

  • stimulus — stȉmulus m DEFINICIJA term. djelovanje neke vrste energije na osjetne receptore; podražaj ETIMOLOGIJA lat. stimulus ≃ stimulans: poticajan ← lat. stimulare …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Stimŭlus — (lat.), 1) spitziges Ding, Stachel; bes. 2) eiserne Spitze an einem Stab, womit Fuhrleute u. Landbauer die Zugthiere antrieben; 3) eiserne Spitzen, welche da ausgestreut wurden, wo man sich eines Angriffs der Reiterei versah, vgl. Fußangeln; 4)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • stimulus — I noun activator, animator, arouser, calcar, catalyst, catalytic agent, cause, drive, encouragement, excitant, fillip, goad, impetus, impulse, incentive, incitamentum, incitement, inducement, influence, inritamentum, motivating force, motive,… …   Law dictionary

  • Stimulus — Stimulus,der:1.⇨Antrieb(1)–2.⇨Reiz(1) …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

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