to feel one's pulse

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Pulse \Pulse\, n. [OE. pous, OF. pous, F. pouls, fr. L. pulsus
   (sc. venarum), the beating of the pulse, the pulse, from
   pellere, pulsum, to beat, strike; cf. Gr. ? to swing, shake,
   ? to shake. Cf. Appeal, Compel, Impel, Push.]
   1. (Physiol.) The beating or throbbing of the heart or blood
      vessels, especially of the arteries.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: In an artery the pulse is due to the expansion and
         contraction of the elastic walls of the artery by the
         action of the heart upon the column of blood in the
         arterial system. On the commencement of the diastole of
         the ventricle, the semilunar valves are closed, and the
         aorta recoils by its elasticity so as to force part of
         its contents into the vessels farther onwards. These,
         in turn, as they already contain a certain quantity of
         blood, expand, recover by an elastic recoil, and
         transmit the movement with diminished intensity. Thus a
         series of movements, gradually diminishing in
         intensity, pass along the arterial system (see the Note
         under Heart). For the sake of convenience, the radial
         artery at the wrist is generally chosen to detect the
         precise character of the pulse. The pulse rate varies
         with age, position, sex, stature, physical and
         psychical influences, etc.
         [1913 Webster]

   2. Any measured or regular beat; any short, quick motion,
      regularly repeated, as of a medium in the transmission of
      light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration; pulsation;
      impulse; beat; movement.
      [1913 Webster]

            The measured pulse of racing oars.    --Tennyson.
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            When the ear receives any simple sound, it is struck
            by a single pulse of the air, which makes the
            eardrum and the other membranous parts vibrate
            according to the nature and species of the stroke.
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   Pulse glass, an instrument consisting to a glass tube with
      terminal bulbs, and containing ether or alcohol, which the
      heat of the hand causes to boil; -- so called from the
      pulsating motion of the liquid when thus warmed.

   Pulse wave (Physiol.), the wave of increased pressure
      started by the ventricular systole, radiating from the
      semilunar valves over the arterial system, and gradually
      disappearing in the smaller branches.
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            the pulse wave travels over the arterial system at
            the rate of about 29.5 feet in a second. --H. N.
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   To feel one's pulse.
      (a) To ascertain, by the sense of feeling, the condition
          of the arterial pulse.
      (b) Hence, to sound one's opinion; to try to discover
          one's mind.
          [1913 Webster]
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