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Impetus Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Impetus Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

The English language features hundreds of thousands of words, and you will keep discovering new words every day. If you are an avid reader, it is nearly impossible to read several contents in a day without finding a new word. One such word is "impetus," which gives us a chance to explain the impetus definition, meaning, and usage.

Impetus refers to a force that causes something to become active or occur. It also refers to the force or energy associated with a moving body or impelling energy, like an impulse. Use this word in a sentence when discussing anything that stimulates an activity, a motive, or an incentive impulse.

 The word "impetus" is common in science related subjects. However, you can apply it in numerous contexts because of its profound meaning. Please read this article in its entirety to learn all there is to know about this word. 

house woman sofa readingWhat is the Definition of Impetus?

Impetus refers to an impulse or impelling force that causes something to happen. The force acts as a catalyst for an activity. Regardless of whether people are against the force, the word will perfectly describe such an instance.

The force generated is either positive or negative. When using this word, focus on delivering the message without wondering what the word means in the particular context. That explains why you can use this term almost everywhere, provided you refer to the power that stimulates a call to action.

Here are some examples in sentences:

  • The sermon by the renowned preacher gave the impetus to the crusades. 
  • Nowadays, even the pre-electoral campaigns have lost some impetus. 
  • The high crime rate was the impetus for hiring more than a hundred new police officers in the district. 

What is the Meaning of Impetus?

Impetus means "an encouragement that causes something to occur." It also means an encouragement that stimulates the already existing action to cause increased action or activity. 

Below are some example sentences:

  • The president's speech acts as an impetus for those working in the ministries.
  • The first game of the tournament gave impetus to the visiting team. 
  • The mass killings at the elementary school in Texas gave the impetus for the new gun regulation laws in the United States. 

The Meaning of Impetus in Physics

In Physics, the word "impetus" refers to the property possessed by a moving object in virtue of its mass and motion. That causes sudden or violent movement based on the strength of the motion. In traditional Physics, the impetus theory explains the changes in the velocity of objects in projectile motion.

 It is similar to the modern concept of momentum, which escalated at the same rate as velocity. Today, the word "impetus" is used in Physics to describe a force that allows a moving body to retain its velocity as it moves against a resisting force or object. 

Here are examples in sentences:

  • Throwing a ball is the impetus that causes bowling pins to fall over. 
  • The ball's lack of impetus caused it to hit the floor despite being thrown very hard. 

Meaning of Impetus in Psychoanalysis

In Psychoanalysis, the word "impetus" refers to the motor element of an instinct. It describes the force of a person's energy required by the instinctive impulse. For instance, we can say, "Your impetus thoughts on changing the highway have saved you a lot of time." That means the force behind your instinctive thoughts has helped you in a certain way. 

Other Meanings of Impetus

Apart from the meanings explained above, the word has other meanings. The different meanings of impetus include;

In health, it refers to something that impels something else to come up, like a stimulating factor. For example, the pandemic outbreak gave a new impetus to vaccine development. 

In education, impetus means an activity in response to an academic stimulus. For instance, the approaching exams gave impetus for the students to work harder. 

Impetus also refers to an internal or external force that propels an impulse. For example, the force from the ball caused the pins to drop. 

How to Use Impetus in a Sentence

Use the word "impetus" in a sentence as a noun. When using this word in sentences, you should always consider its different meanings and the context.

The good thing about words with several meanings is their versatility. However, such words can also be risky to apply if you do not understand their meanings and how to use them correctly. The spelling is also worth looking into. Any mistakes would completely alter your sentence's meaning. 

Synonyms of Impetus

The good thing about the English language is the numerous word options. There are multiple words you can use to refer to the same thing. Different words with the same or similar meanings are known as synonyms. Some of these words have the same meaning, while others are only related or similar. 

Regarding the meaning "something that arouses an action or activity," below are synonyms of impetus;

  • Boost
  • Encourage
  • Goad
  • Impulse
  • Incentive
  • Incitation
  • Incitement
  • Instigation
  • Momentum
  • Motivation
  • Provocation
  • Spur
  • Stimulant
  • Stimulus
  • Catalyst

Regarding the meaning "a force or energy that impels an action or activity or an impulse," here are synonyms for impetus;

  • Energy
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Spur
  • Push 
  • Urge

Antonyms for Impetus

These are words with the opposite meaning as the word "impetus." The most common antonyms for impetus are;

  • Conterincentive
  • Disincentive
  • Block
  • Discouragement
  • Check
  • Hindrance

10 Examples of Impetus in a Sentence

After learning the meaning and definition of impetus, the next natural step is sentence construction. Check out the ten sentence examples below;

  1. Harry's recent divorce was the impetus for his drunken rages and reckless behavior. 
  2. The outcry against police brutality was the impetus for the body cam initiative. 
  3. The impeachment of the former governor was the impetus for the change in the city's rule.
  4. The force from the missile is the impetus behind the massive building destruction in Kyiv. 
  5. The nearing of the general elections is an impetus to the rise in product prices, especially fuel. 
  6. The original hip hop originated from the desperation and backwardness of the inner-city population tired of daily impetus police policies.
  7. The increased crime rates in Mexico were the impetus for hiring new police officers.
  8. The new president's military background and leadership experience have been a great impetus for change. 
  9. Lack of donations and unfulfilled pledges are the impetus for the reduced services from non-profit agencies. 
  10. The strict rules from their new stepfather are an impetus; my children have started respecting authority and developing character changes.

How Do You Spell Impetus?

The correct spelling for this word is "I.M.P.E.T.U.S."

While the spelling of this word is quite straightforward, most people confuse it with the word "impetuous." Note that there are two very different words whose meanings are not even related. 

Therefore, in your quest to learn new words, you should never forget to master their spellings. The key to getting the spelling of a new word is constant practice. Failure to do this will have you forget, thus making spelling mistakes. 

How Do You Pronounce Impetus?

The right pronunciation for impetus is "/im-pi-tas/ or /im-puh-tuhs/."

Apart from the fact that the letter "e" in this word gets pronounced as "I," this word is relatively easy to pronounce. Another good thing is that the pronunciation remains constant in American and British English.

How Many Syllables Are in Impetus?

The word impetus has three syllables. 

You can divide the word into three syllables "- im -pe -tus." The stressed syllable in the word impetus is "- im." Note that the number of syllables a word has and how they are divided influence how the particular word is pronounced. 

History & Etymology of Impetus

The word stems from the Middle English word "impetous," meaning a rush or rapid movement. The Middle English word first appeared at the beginning of the fifteenth century. In the mid-seventeenth century, the word "impetus" came in. 

Like most scientific names, the word "impetus" has Latin roots. It comes from the Latin term "impetere," which translates to "assault force, attack, or passion." The prefix "in" means "toward or against." On the other hand, "petere" means "to seek or fall upon."

reading beach womanWhen was Impetus First Used?

The first recorded use of the word impetus was in 1641.

The version of this word used at the start of the fifteenth century does not have the same spelling as the modern version. It was spelled in Middle English as "impetuous." The modern spelling traces back to the middle of the seventeenth century. Despite the spelling changes, the meaning has not changed much. 

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The word "impetus" is one of those English words that sound complex on the first encounter. However, after reading this article on the impetus definition, meaning, and usage, you can confidently agree it is a simple word. It is now up to you to practice until you master the word. We recommend that you try constructing some creative sentences with the word impetus before moving on to your next "word of the day."

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