If someone is impulsive, it means that they act on instinct, without thinking decisions through. If you worked for an entire year to save money for a car and then suddenly decided to spend it all on a diamond tiara instead, that would be an impulsive purchase.

Impulses are short, quick feelings, and if someone is in the habit of acting on them, they're impulsive. When stores stock chocolate at the checkout line, they are hoping you will impulsively decide to buy it. When you call the person you have a crush on after promising yourself all day to maintain an air of dignified reserve, that's impulsive behavior. We might also call impulsive behavior whimsical or capricious.

Definitions of impulsive
  1. adjective
    without forethought
    “letting him borrow her car was an impulsive act that she immediately regretted”
    not premeditated
  2. adjective
    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation
    “liable to such impulsive acts as hugging strangers”
    synonyms: brainish, hotheaded, impetuous, madcap, tearaway
    lacking in caution
  3. adjective
    determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
    synonyms: capricious, whimsical
    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice
  4. adjective
    proceeding from natural feeling or impulse without external stimulus
    “an impulsive gesture of affection”
    synonyms: unprompted
    self-generated, spontaneous
    happening or arising without apparent external cause
  5. adjective
    having the power of driving or impelling
    “an impulsive force”
    synonyms: driving
    dynamic, dynamical
    characterized by action or forcefulness or force of personality
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