de·​fi·​bril·​la·​tor (ˌ)dē-ˈfi-brə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce defibrillator (audio)
: an electronic device that applies an electric shock to restore the rhythm of a fibrillating heart
defibrillate transitive verb
defibrillation noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But Tatum, who earlier this postseason pronounced himself humbly one of the best players in the world after putting the defibrillator paddles to the Celtics season against Philadelphia in Game 6, wasn’t in the mood for brash remarks or chest-beating. Christopher L. Gasper,, 24 May 2023 In Illinois, state law requires schools and other public places to have defibrillators, but leave it up to school officials to determine how many should be in buildings. Alexandra Kukulka, Chicago Tribune, 15 May 2023 Athletic trainers are educated and trained on everything from injury prevention and rehabilitation to spine boarding, CPR and defibrillator use. Stephanie Kuzydym,, 10 May 2023 Daniels is undersized, but uber-athletic, intelligent and carries around two defibrillator paddles for hands. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Apr. 2023 Photo-illustration: WIRED Staff; Getty Images In 1947, Claude Beck used the defibrillator to undo what was once deemed irreversible: the cessation of the human heart. WIRED, 21 Mar. 2023 The Aviation Medical Assistance Act of 1998 requires airlines to medical equipment such as defibrillators and train flight attendants to use the equipment. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 20 Mar. 2023 As others were preparing to use an automatic external defibrillator on Woods, emergency medical workers arrived, said Chrystal Wilson, assistant superintendent of communications for DPSCD. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 8 Feb. 2023 The Mangines’ lawsuit detailed how the school failed to use a defibrillator (AED) on Matthew and didn’t have the proper protocols and procedures in place. Stephanie Kuzydym,, 10 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defibrillator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of defibrillator was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near defibrillator

Cite this Entry

“Defibrillator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


de·​fi·​bril·​la·​tor (ˈ)dē-ˈfib-rə-ˌlāt-ər How to pronounce defibrillator (audio) -ˈfīb- How to pronounce defibrillator (audio)
: an electronic device used to defibrillate a heart by applying an electric shock to it

More from Merriam-Webster on defibrillator

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