heart·​beat | \ ˈhärt-ˌbēt How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

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

The brick monoliths along the French River were once the economic heartbeat of the town. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Thompson’s Steady Mill Redevelopment Process," 10 June 2019 Beanie Feldstein: Molly and Amy's friendship is the heartbeat of the film. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Booksmart Cast Opens Up About Porn, the Patriarchy, and the Problem of Likability," 25 May 2019 Overdoing it on caffeine can lead to issues like headaches, trouble sleeping, a rapid heartbeat, trembling, and more. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is Coffee Actually Dehydrating?," 6 Mar. 2019 Confusion or lack of alertness Sudden and sustained rapid heartbeatSweating Pale skin Cold hands or feet Seek emergency treatment. John Finley, Philly.com, "Q&A: What is cardiogenic shock, and why should I care?," 23 Apr. 2018 Nut consumption was associated with lowered risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke and the irregular rapid heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or A-fib. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "Nuts May Be Good for the Heart, but Are Hardly a Miracle Food," 17 Apr. 2018 In rare cases, lack of electrolytes can throw off the electrical impulses that keep the heart beating properly, leading to cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. Amy Marturana, SELF, "This Is What Happens When You Don’t Eat Enough After Working Out," 2 Jan. 2019 There were two serious side effects — one patient was hospitalized for bronchitis and another for an irregular heartbeat — but those were deemed due to their disease and pre-existing conditions, not the gene treatment. Fox News, "Early results boost hopes for historic gene editing attempt," 7 Sep. 2018 Moriah has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – a chronic condition that causes an irregular heartbeat, circulatory problems, and in some cases, including hers, chronic fatigue and pain. Philly.com, "Philadelphia weddings: Moriah Benjoseph and Ben Nassau," 13 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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Statistics for heartbeat

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

Kids Definition of heartbeat

: a single contracting and expanding of the heart


heart·​beat | \ ˈhärt-ˌbēt How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

Medical Definition of heartbeat

: one complete pulsation of the heart

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More from Merriam-Webster on heartbeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heartbeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heartbeat

Spanish Central: Translation of heartbeat

Nglish: Translation of heartbeat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heartbeat

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