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

That evening, Blake opened up about how he too was blindsided by heartbreak in his past. Becca Kufrin, PEOPLE.com, "Bachelorette Becca Kufrin Explains Her Frustration Over Colton's Past with Tia: 'Can I Trust Him?'," 5 June 2018 The pattern continues thus in a ricocheting story of laughter that is confronted seemingly at every turn by heartbreak and the realities of aging and declining health. Noor Brara, Vogue, "In The Leisure Seeker, Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland Give Lessons on Lifetime Love," 12 Jan. 2018 San Francisco 49ers fans suffered some heartbreak Sunday. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Comeback Colin? 49ers fans clamor for Kaepernick return after Garoppolo injury," 24 Sep. 2018 Mark is calling this the heartbreak era, meaning there will be even more songs that follow the theme coming soon. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "13 Hidden Easter Eggs in Miley Cyrus' New 'Nothing Breaks Like a Heart' Music Video That’ll Give You Chills," 30 Nov. 2018 Grab your tissues, Chicago Fire fans, because the show's upcoming season seven fall finale is promising even more heartbreak. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "'Chicago Fire' Fans Are Going to be 'Furious' After the Devastating Fall Finale," 28 Nov. 2018 Could any of this inevitable heartbreak have an effect on Kate and Rebecca's relationship? Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Didn't Air Last Night, But This Clip Offers a Sneak Peek of What's Next," 7 Nov. 2018 Only Lana Del Rey, who gave a surprise performance at the end of the event, ended up looking small — alone and weird singing about nostalgia and heartbreak first thing in the morning. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Silicon Valley brings its “humanist,” “minimalist” aesthetic to Brooklyn.," 31 Oct. 2018 In the years since Columbine, little has been done in order to take meaningful action against gun violence; those who do often do so because they have been personally impacted by the terror and heartbreak gun violence brings. Kesha, Teen Vogue, "Kesha on Common Sense Gun Laws and Partnering With March for Our Lives to End Gun Violence," 12 Oct. 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

11 Feb 2019

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

More from Merriam-Webster on heartbreak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heartbreak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heartbreak

Spanish Central: Translation of heartbreak

Nglish: Translation of heartbreak for Spanish Speakers

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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!