/ pəls /
heart rate · pulsation · heartbeat · beat
1. The rate at which the heart beats; SYN. heart rate.
2. The rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart; SYN. pulsation, heartbeat, beat.
Impulse transmitted by the heartbeat throughout the arterial systems of vertebrates. When the heart muscle contracts, it forces blood into the aorta (the chief artery). Because the arteries are elastic, the sudden rise of pressure causes a throb or sudden swelling through them. The actual flow of the blood is about 60 cm/2 ft a second in humans. The average adult pulse rate is generally about 70 per minute. The pulse can be felt where an artery is near the surface, for example in the wrist or the neck.