heart·beat | \ˈhärt-ˌbēt \

Definition of heartbeat 

1 : one complete pulsation of the heart

2 : the vital center or driving impulse

3 : a brief space of time : flash used chiefly in the phrase in a heartbeat

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Examples of heartbeat in a Sentence

The patient had a rapid heartbeat. I'd accept a job offer from that company in a heartbeat.

Recent Examples on the Web

Power Moves: You’re arguably the zodiac’s most compassionate operator, with a cosmic capacity to feel into every heartbeat and sensitivity that’s unparalleled. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes June 25-July 1," 23 June 2018 However, as doctors could detect a faint fetal heartbeat and because – according to the Eighth – the pregnant woman and the fetus’ lives are judged equally important, she was denied a termination. Chloe Mac Donnell, Glamour, "For These Women, Traveling Over 9,000 Miles to Vote in Ireland's Abortion Referendum Isn't a Burden—It's a Necessity," 24 May 2018 Yesterday, the ghost image flashed in an Instagram post of its own, accompanied by the sounds of a heartbeat and the date 5/25/18. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Good Charlotte Signs to BMG For Worldwide Album Release: Exclusive," 22 May 2018 Two of the critical victims were sent to New York's Bellevue Hospital with no heartbeat and were not expected to survive, a source told Fox News. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Helicopter crashes in New York City's East River; all 5 passengers dead, pilot only survivor," 12 Mar. 2018 The Belgian maestro is having an incredible season and is continuously the heartbeat of such a fantastic side, and Saturday evening against the Foxes was no different. SI.com, "Mendy Provides Hilarious Twitter Reaction to Kevin De Bruyne Masterclass Against Leicester," 11 Feb. 2018 This also translates into a faster heartbeat and breathing rate. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Why a Giant Mouse Would Explode and a Tiny Elephant Would Freeze," 23 Dec. 2017 Tegray Scales was the heartbeat of an IU defense that ended last season as perhaps the most accomplished the program has seen in two decades. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 burning questions facing IU football in 2018," 12 July 2018 The image of the gray-haired family physician, stethoscope in ear, patiently listening to the heartbeat of a porcelain doll as his young patient looks on, is indelible in the public memory. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Why Hasn’t Telemedicine Taken Off? Hey, Blame This Guy.," 3 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of heartbeat

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to heartbeat

in a heartbeat

Statistics for heartbeat

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heartbeat

The first known use of heartbeat was in 1850

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More Definitions for heartbeat



English Language Learners Definition of heartbeat

: the action or sound of the heart as it pumps blood


heart·beat | \ˈhärt-ˌbēt \

Kids Definition of heartbeat

: a single contracting and expanding of the heart


heart·beat | \ˈhärt-ˌbēt \

Medical Definition of heartbeat 

: one complete pulsation of the heart

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Comments on heartbeat

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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