heart·​break | \ˈhärt-ˌbrāk \

Definition of heartbreak 

: crushing grief, anguish, or distress

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of heartbreak in a Sentence

He recently suffered a string of romantic heartbreaks. I understand the heartbreak you must feel over your grandmother's death.

Recent Examples on the Web

More tragically, the documentary portrays the heartbreak and trauma the case causes with the Peterson children (one of whom ultimately breaks away and decides her mother was murdered). Lincoln Michel, GQ, "The Seminal True Crime Documentary Is Now on Netflix," 16 June 2018 Before being felled by the heartbreak of Declines Commentari, the Elmores unveiled their grand baseball scenario sinister. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "AAA Ballpark: Going, going, going...," 1 May 2018 The pain, the heartbreak of a child about that experience will never go away in their lifetime. NBC News, "Meet the Press - June 17, 2018," 17 June 2018 Andrew Toney helped the Sixers avoid duplicating the heartbreak in the follow season’s conference final. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers coach Brett Brown 'can't wait' to be part of the Sixers-Celtics rivalry," 29 Apr. 2018 As anyone who has gone through a breakup knows, heartbreak can be difficult to process, let alone in the public eye. Erin Nicole Celletti, Teen Vogue, "Celebrity Breakups Don't Mean Love Is Dead," 11 Apr. 2018 This year’s tournament is defined by bundles of extra-time heroics, a few surprising group stage upsets, and a whole lot of heartbreak. Owen Pence, BostonGlobe.com, "The World Cup is getting hot. If you haven’t been watching, this will catch you up," 6 July 2018 There is great heartbreak in the correspondence of this heroic fellow Cancer (much of which has never been published before), but alongside that pain is extraordinary, inspiring strength. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "Your July pop culture horoscope revealed: Whitney Houston, Comic-Con, and Sharp Objects," 29 June 2018 But the Pacers have endured a steady stream of heartbreak to which few other franchises can relate. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "The Pacers have always been great at (almost) great seasons," 5 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heartbreak

Share heartbreak

Statistics for heartbreak

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heartbreak

The first known use of heartbreak was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heartbreak



English Language Learners Definition of heartbreak

: a very strong feeling of sadness, disappointment, etc.


heart·​break | \ˈhärt-ˌbrāk \

Kids Definition of heartbreak

: very great or deep grief

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on heartbreak

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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