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Definition of impetus:

  1. A property possessed by a moving body in virtue of its weight and its motion; the force with which any body is driven or impelled; momentum.
  2. Fig.: Impulse; incentive; vigor; force.
  3. The aititude through which a heavy body must fall to acquire a velocity equal to that with which a ball is discharged from a piece.

Synonyms:

pulse, impulse, whim, caprice, neural impulse, reason, movement, trend, pulsation, purpose, cause, purport, fillip, impulsion, heading, spur, pulsing, drift, gallery, stimulant, spur, encouragement, stimulator, urge, nerve impulse, momentum, nervous impulse, push.

Usage examples: