heart attack

noun

Definition of heart attack

: an acute episode of coronary heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart usually as a result of a coronary artery becoming blocked by a blood clot formed in response to a ruptured or torn fatty arterial deposit

Note: Symptoms of heart attack include discomfort or pain in the chest, shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw, shortness of breath, dizziness or light-headedness, heartburn, nausea, excessive sweating, and extreme fatigue.

called also myocardial infarction

Examples of heart attack in a Sentence

Her chest pains turned out to be caused by a minor heart attack. He died of a massive heart attack.

Recent Examples on the Web

The cause of death was listed as a heart attack and pulmonary edema by local authorities. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Here are the 9 Americans reported dead in the Dominican Republic in the past year," 19 June 2019 Corcoran’s family said his cause of death was listed as a heart attack. Joseph A. Gambardello, baltimoresun.com, "What we know about the deaths in the Dominican Republic of at least eight Americans, including two Marylanders," 19 June 2019 Of the recent deaths that have become publicly known so far, Dominican investigators said five were caused by a heart attack. Fox News, "Oklahoma high school graduates fall ill during Dominican Republic trip, parent says," 18 June 2019 Two men used a fake heart attack to distract a cashier before robbing a store Sunday evening in Malden, officials said. Sabrina Schnur, BostonGlobe.com, "Malden police search for unarmed robbers who faked heart attack as distraction," 18 June 2019 Bernie passed away due to heat stroke/heart attack. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'Seeking Sister Wife' star Bernie McGee has died at 41," 17 June 2019 My father died of a heart attack the week before classes began in 1974. Ron Mccurdy With Cari Lynn, WSJ, "When My Father Stood Up For His Rights," 15 June 2019 The month after the indictment, Kohler died of a heart attack that looked, to many, to have been caused by shock. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "“The Westing Game,” a Tribute to Labor That Became a Dark Comedy of American Capitalism," 13 June 2019 Her cause of death was listed as a heart attack that caused respiratory failure and fluid accumulation in her lungs, according to People. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Families Plan Their Own Autopsies For Maryland Couple Who Died In The Dominican Republic," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heart attack.' 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 heart attack

1836, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heart attack

Statistics for heart attack

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heart attack

The first known use of heart attack was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heart attack

heart attack

noun

English Language Learners Definition of heart attack

: a sudden painful and dangerous condition in which your heart stops beating properly

heart attack

noun

Medical Definition of heart attack

: an acute episode of coronary heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle usually as a result of a coronary artery becoming blocked by a blood clot formed in response to a ruptured or torn fatty arterial deposit

Note: Symptoms of heart attack include discomfort or pain in the chest, shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw, shortness of breath, dizziness or light-headedness, heartburn, nausea, excessive sweating, and extreme fatigue.

When a patient is in the throes of a heart attack, the physician's goal is restoring adequate blood flow to the starving heart muscle as swiftly as possible.Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1993 It has long been known that aspirin helps prevent blood clots … and many studies have shown that the drug can reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.— Peter Aldhous, Science, 7 Jan. 1994

called also acute myocardial infarction, myocardial infarction

— compare angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, heart failure sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on heart attack

Spanish Central: Translation of heart attack

Nglish: Translation of heart attack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heart attack for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heart attack

Comments on heart attack

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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