Entries linking to impulsivity
early 15c., originally in reference to medicine that reduces swelling or humors, from Medieval Latin impulsivus, from Latin impuls-, past participle stem of impellere "strike against, push against" (see impel). Meaning "having the property of impelling" (of force, cause, energy, etc.) is from c. 1600. Of persons, "rash, characterized by impulses," from 1847, from impulse. Earlier, at least once, in reference to maniacs:
The impulsive insane are often irritable, restless and jealous. Sometimes they have delusions, and sometimes not. Their delusions frequently seem to have no connection with their outbreaks of violence. They are often the best and at the same time the most dangerous class of patients in the asylums. They have little of the charity of the world, are most likely to be punished for their offences, and yet have the least control over their conduct. ["Impulsive and Homicidal Insanity," Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, April 19, 1843]
word-forming element making abstract nouns from adjectives and meaning "condition or quality of being ______," from Middle English -ite, from Old French -ete (Modern French -ité) and directly from Latin -itatem (nominative -itas), suffix denoting state or condition, composed of -i- (from the stem or else a connective) + the common abstract suffix -tas (see -ty (2)).
Roughly, the word in -ity usually means the quality of being what the adjective describes, or concretely an instance of the quality, or collectively all the instances; & the word in -ism means the disposition, or collectively all those who feel it. [Fowler]
updated on July 22, 2012
Dictionary entries near impulsivity