v. stim·u·lat·ed, stim·u·lat·ing, stim·u·lates
1. To rouse to action or increased activity; excite: a policy that stimulated people to protest; incentives to stimulate consumer spending. See Synonyms at provoke.
2. To increase temporarily the activity of (a body organ or system, for example).
3. To cause to be interested or engaged: Animals in zoos need to be stimulated to remain healthy.
4. To cause to desire to have sex; arouse sexually.
5. To excite or invigorate (a person, for example) with a stimulant.
To act or serve as a stimulant or stimulus.
[Latin stimulāre, stimulāt-, to goad on, from stimulus, goad.]
stimu·lat′er, stimu·la′tor n.
stimu·la′tive, stimu·la·to′ry (-lə-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.