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 chemical evaporates quickly and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and headaches, with worse symptoms at higher levels of exposure. Juan A. Lozano, The Seattle Times, "Environmental, economic damage a concern now that fire out," 26 Mar. 2019 In addition to all that, rapid heartbeat or breathing, sunken eyes, fever, confusion, or delirium can all be signs of severe dehydration. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here’s Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day," 2 Jan. 2019 Nine weeks into her pregnancy, her doctor informed her that there was no fetal heartbeat and that her pregnancy would end in miscarriage. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Walgreens Pharmacist Denies Woman Medication for Her Miscarriage," 25 June 2018 Knowing the positive effects that being close to a caregiver during sleep can have on babies, Eggertsdóttir designed the super-soft doll to simulate the steady breathing and heartbeat of a person at the push of a button. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Amount Parents Are Willing to Pay for This Magical Sleeping Doll Is Insane," 26 July 2016 The study explains how rocking motions triggers a calming reaction and slows down the infant's heartbeat. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Hanging Cribs Are the Newest Trend For Your Nursery," 26 Feb. 2019 The procedure takes about 30 seconds, the Apple Watch can also monitor a wearer's heartbeat for atrial fibrillation or a dangerously low pulse in the background. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "iPhone XS, iPhone XR, Apple Watch and More: Apple's 2018 iPhone Event Roundup," 12 Sep. 2018 But the interface is still awful: With every heartbeat, the brain, which has the consistency of pudding, moves in the skull. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Apple also released its own study in 2017 in collaboration with Stanford University researchers that attempts to test the Apple Watch’s ability to track irregular heartbeats. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Johnson & Johnson to Use Apple Watch App for Heart-Health Study," 17 Jan. 2019

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

7 Apr 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

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).


likely to have or produce good results

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