Webster 1913 Edition
The beating or throbbing of the heart or blood vessels, especially of the arteries.
☞ In an artery the pulse is due to the expansion and contraction of the elastic walls of the artery by the action of the heart upon the column of blood in the arterial system. On the commencement of the diastole of the ventricle, the semilunar valves are closed, and the aorta recoils by its elasticity so as to force part of its contents into the vessels farther onwards. These, in turn, as they already contain a certain quantity of blood, expand, recover by an elastic recoil, and transmit the movement with diminished intensity. Thus a series of movements, gradually diminishing in intensity, pass along the arterial system (see the Note under
Heart). For the sake of convenience, the radial artery at the wrist is generally chosen to detect the precise character of the pulse. The pulse rate varies with age, position, sex, stature, physical and psychical influences, etc.
Any measured or regular beat; any short, quick motion, regularly repeated, as of a medium in the transmission of light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration; pulsation; impulse; beat; movement.
pulseof racing oars.
When the ear receives any simple sound, it is struck by a single
pulseof the air, which makes the eardrum and the other membranous parts vibrate according to the nature and species of the stroke.
an instrument consisting to a glass tube with terminal bulbs, and containing ether or alcohol, which the heat of the hand causes to boil; – so called from the pulsating motion of the liquid when thus warmed.–
the wave of increased pressure started by the ventricular systole, radiating from the semilunar valves over the arterial system, and gradually disappearing in the smaller branches.
pulse wavetravels over the arterial system at the rate of about 29.5 feet in a second.
H. N. Martin.
To feel one’s pulse.
To ascertain, by the sense of feeling, the condition of the arterial pulse.
Hence, to sound one's opinion; to try to discover one's mind.
To beat, as the arteries; to move in pulses or beats; to pulsate; to throb.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.In animals, the beating or throbbing of the heart and arteries;more particularly, the sudden dilatation of an artery, caused by the projectile force of the blood, which is perceptible to the touch. Hence we say, to feel the pulse. The pulse is frequent or rare, quick or slow, equal or unequal, regular or intermitting, hard or soft, strong or weak, &c. The pulses of an adult in health, are little more than one pulse to a second; in certain fevers, the number is increased to 90, 100, or even to 140 in a minute.
2.The stroke with which a medium is affected by the motion of light, sound, &c.; oscillation; vibration.
Sir Isaac Newton demonstrates that the velocities of the pulses of an elastic fluid medium are in a ratio compounded of half the ratio of the elastic force directly, and half the ratio of the density inversely.
To feel one's pulse, metaphorically, to sound one's opinion; to try or to know one's mind.