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 legislation—signed this month and set to go into effect in 2019, if isn’t shot down by a legal challenge—would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or about six weeks into a pregnancy. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Employee activism is great—until it pits colleagues against each other," 1 June 2019 Alabama was not the first state to enact the oppressive legislature; early last week, Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp signed into effect a fetal heartbeat bill to the raucous applause of Republicans in the state. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Two Republican Politicians In Georgia Literally Fist-Bumped After Banning Abortion," 16 May 2019 But at the heartbeat of their side was Oriol Romeu, who showcased his outstanding defensive qualities as well as an ability to drive the ball forward after turning over possession. SI.com, "Southampton 1-1 Man Utd: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Vestergaard Snatches Draw for 10-Man Saints," 31 Aug. 2019 These days, Bellinger is the heartbeat of the best team in baseball, streaking toward a potential MVP award in just his third MLB season. Jack Harriswriter, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger learned to love baseball at the Little League World Series," 24 Aug. 2019 The bill includes a provision allowing people to claim fetuses as dependents on state tax returns after a heartbeat is detected, which further boosts assertions of personhood. al, "Georgia legislators pass ‘heartbeat bill’; would ban most abortions," 29 Mar. 2019 This appears to cause irregularities in heartbeat that are the immediate cause of death. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Heart disease is the price of becoming human, UCSD study finds," 22 July 2019 Too much caffeine can also increase blood pressure, cause anxiety, rapid heartbeat, rebound fatigue, dehydration, and interfere with sleep. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "Can the Coffee Diet Really Help With Weight Loss—and Is It Safe?," 19 July 2019 The heartbeat bills have faced immediate court challenge, so none has gone into effect. AZCentral.com, "Never heard of model bills? Here's how they work.," 20 June 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 Oct 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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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