Definition of stimulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstimyəˌlāt/


[with object]
1Raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in (the body or any biological system): the women are given fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries
More example sentences
  • Intrauterine devices work primarily as a foreign body stimulating the immune system into producing an excess of leukocytes and prostaglandins.
  • Together, all of these treatments are supposed to cleanse your body and stimulate your immune system.
  • The cause of migraine is not fully understood but involves the balance between the body processes that stimulate the nervous system and those that relax it.
restorative, tonic, invigorating, bracing, energizing, reviving, refreshing, revitalizing, revivifying, exhilarating;
Medicine  analeptic
1.1Encourage interest or activity in (a person or animal): the reader could not fail to be stimulated by the ideas presented
More example sentences
  • This enthusiasm stimulates the interest of the reader.
  • Her infectious enthusiasm and personal encouragement stimulated many younger scientists to work in the field.
  • The unexpected discovery of this cycle has stimulated much interest in the field as well as in the popular press.
encourage, act as a stimulus/incentive/impetus/spur to, prompt, prod, move, motivate, trigger, spark, spur on, galvanize, activate, kindle, fire, fire with enthusiasm, fuel, whet, nourish;
inspire, incentivize, inspirit, rouse, excite, animate, electrify, jump-start, light a fire under
thought-provoking, interesting, fascinating, inspiring, inspirational, lively, sparkling, exciting, stirring, rousing, intriguing, giving one food for thought, refreshing;
provocative, challenging
informal buzzy
1.2Encourage development of or increased activity in (a state or process): the courses stimulate a passion for learning tax changes designed to stimulate economic growth
More example sentences
  • The industry suggests a number of changes, which it said would contribute towards stimulating economic growth and development.
  • The ECB policy of cutting rates was and is designed to stimulate economic growth.
  • For many species, GA 3 produced by developing seeds stimulates the growth and maturation of that fruit.



Pronunciation: /-ləbəl/
Example sentences
  • It has been argued that stimulable bioluminescence potential is a useful, measurable proxy for planktonic biomass.
  • In a traditional approach to treatment target selection sounds that are stimulable are chosen first, because they are easier for the child to learn.
  • Images are formed by exposing optically transparent, optically stimulable luminescent glasses including luminescent centers and trapping centers, to patterned, ionizing radiation.


Pronunciation: /ˈstimyəˌlādiv/
Pronunciation: /ˈstimyələdiv/
Example sentences
  • Consumer spending has held up remarkably well for more than two years - aided by extremely low interest rates and stimulative fiscal policy.
  • Instead, the Fed pursued its own stimulative policy, pushing interest rates to the lowest level in a generation.
  • The Fed's 2001-02 interest rate cuts are having some stimulative effect, as is the huge swing in the federal budget from surplus to deficit.


Pronunciation: /ˈstimyəˌlādər/
Example sentences
  • He said: ‘This study was comparing patients who were using an exercise bike, which has been shown in earlier trials to be beneficial, and muscle stimulators.’
  • Invented in 1985, modern-day magnetic stimulators charge up to a whopping 3,000 volts and produce peak currents of up to 8,000 amps - powers similar to those of a small nuclear reactor.
  • These were electrical stimulators, about the size of a grain of rice, injected into dormant muscles which then triggered movement when activated by an external control board.


Pronunciation: /-ləˌtôrē/
Example sentences
  • The inflationary decade scared policymakers so much that when financial crisis hit Asia in 1997, the IMF preached austerity rather than stimulatory spending to spur struggling economies.
  • You need to wait for some time to see whether U.S. consumer confidence, which is propping the economy, will be shaken - or gets bolstered by the Federal Reserve's rate cuts and other stimulatory measures.
  • Ireland joined EMU at a time when the economy was already on fire and it then had to endure an exchange rate and an interest rate level that were way too stimulatory for Ireland's unique economic situation.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'sting, afflict'): from Latin stimulat- 'urged, goaded', from the verb stimulare.

  • The early sense of this was ‘sting, afflict’; it is from Latin stimulare ‘urge’, ‘goad’. Stimulus is a late 17th-century use of a Latin word meaning ‘goad, spur, incentive’.

Words that rhyme with stimulate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stim·u·late

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