1. foolish, voluble talk.
2. to talk foolishly; blither; babble.
[1815–25; alter. of blether, appar. < Old Norse blathra to chatter, blabber]
a bitter or violent criticism or attack; denunciation
[C16: from Latin diatriba learned debate, from Greek diatribē discourse, pastime, from diatribein to while away, from dia- + tribein to rub]
1. like or suggesting a wasp, esp. in behavior.
2. snappish or peevish; petulant; testy.
3. having a slight or slender build.
n. pl. im·pe·tus·es
1. An impelling force; an impulse.
2. The force or energy associated with a moving body.
a. Something that incites; a stimulus.
b. Increased activity in response to a stimulus: The approaching deadline gave impetus to the investigation.
[Middle English impetous
, from Latin impetus
, from impetere
, to attack
; see in-2
, to go towards, seek
; see pet-
in Indo-European roots
CITE: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.