ar·​rhyth·​mia | \ā-ˈrit͟h-mē-ə \

Definition of arrhythmia 

: an alteration in rhythm of the heartbeat either in time or force

Examples of arrhythmia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While results of this early personality-typing research proved shaky, a more rigorous 1981 study found that a startling number of patients with life-threatening arrhythmias had suffered acute psychological stress the day of their attacks. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Heart: A History’ Review: At the Bleeding Edge," 14 Sep. 2018 Chagas disease can cause life-threatening heart issues, including heart diseease, strokes, arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Blood-sucking 'kissing bugs' spreading dangerous parasitic disease in US, health officials warn," 24 Aug. 2018 There are also efforts to detect cardiac arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, which increase the risk of heart failure and strokes. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence will improve medical treatments," 7 June 2018 In the meantime, a pill that medical experts say can cause diabetes, heart arrhythmia and potentially irreversible movement disorders continues to be prescribed to many Americans who are only seeking a good night’s sleep or less anxiety by day. Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, "One of America’s most popular drugs — first aimed at schizophrenia — reveals the issues of ‘off-label’ use," 30 Mar. 2018 Researchers at Stanford University, led by Andrew Ng, have shown that AI software can identify arrhythmias from an electrocardiogram (ECG) better than an expert. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence will improve medical treatments," 7 June 2018 The group has joined forces with a firm that makes portable ECG devices and is helping Apple with a study looking at whether arrhythmias can be detected in the heart-rate data picked up by its smart watches. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence will improve medical treatments," 7 June 2018 The New York Times attributed the league's 2006 implementation of standardized cardiac screening to the death of Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier, who reportedly died of a sudden arrhythmia caused by an enlarged heart. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "G-Leaguer Zeke Upshaw diagnosed with heart disease year before he died," 2 June 2018 Sudden cardiac arrest typically occurs when an arrhythmia (heart rhythm abnormality) makes a person’s heart stop beating, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "Think You Know How to Do CPR? You Might Be Wrong," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arrhythmia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of arrhythmia

circa 1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arrhythmia

New Latin, from Greek, lack of rhythm, from arrhythmos unrhythmical, from a- + rhythmos rhythm

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arrhythmia

Share arrhythmia

Statistics for arrhythmia

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arrhythmia

The first known use of arrhythmia was circa 1860

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for arrhythmia


ar·​rhyth·​mia | \ā-ˈrit͟h-mē-ə \

Medical Definition of arrhythmia 

: an alteration in rhythm of the heartbeat either in time or force

More from Merriam-Webster on arrhythmia

Britannica English: Translation of arrhythmia for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about arrhythmia

Comments on arrhythmia

What made you want to look up arrhythmia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!