heart·​break·​ing | \ ˈhärt-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce heartbreaking (audio) \

Definition of heartbreaking

1 : causing intense sorrow or distress heartbreaking news a heartbreaking defeat
2 : producing an intense emotional reaction or response heartbreaking beauty

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Other Words from heartbreaking

heartbreakingly \ ˈhärt-​ˌbrā-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce heartbreakingly (audio) \ adverb
a heartbreakingly tragic movie

Examples of heartbreaking in a Sentence

She wrote a heartbreaking story about the death of her grandfather. It was heartbreaking to know that there was nothing I could do. The team suffered another heartbreaking defeat.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The result is a book about freedom that’s both heartbreaking and joyfully invigorating. WSJ, "Who Read What in 2018: History and Journalism," 10 Dec. 2018 And Kelsey and Kristen, in this environment full of distractions and insanity, delivered this performance that's so real and moving, so heartbreaking and beautiful. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "How Like Father Became Netflix's Unexpected Hit of the Summer," 21 Aug. 2018 Just a few blocks north of downtown Eustis, the Groves Shopping Center is the heartbreaking and tragic site of the Dorothy Reid Lewis case. Annie Martin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake County SWAT team shoots, kills man holding hostages in Eustis home," 5 July 2018 Watching host James Delos repeatedly try and fail to come to terms with his artificial nature was heartbreaking and fascinating. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Question Club: What do we want from Westworld season 3?," 2 July 2018 The vintage jewelry was, as ever, heartbreaking and enthralling, splendid survivors from eras long past. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "5 Dazzling New Jewelry Designers From the Las Vegas Couture Show," 15 June 2018 Our legal community has seen a string of heartbreaking and unfortunate suicides in recent years. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "Following wave of suicides, Florida Bar president put mental health on the docket," 9 June 2018 Walker will also open up about the heartbreaking loss in an upcoming eight-track album, according to PopCulture.com. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Walker Hayes Attends His First Award Show After His Daughter's Tragic Death," 15 Nov. 2018 Another game, a heartbreaking loss to the Saints, ended on a field goal with under 30 seconds left. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Cleveland Browns: Win, Lose or Draw—the NFL’s Most Entertaining Team," 26 Oct. 2018

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

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for heartbreaking

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heartbreaking

The first known use of heartbreaking was in 1591

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More Definitions for heartbreaking



English Language Learners Definition of heartbreaking

: causing great sadness, disappointment, etc.


heart·​break·​ing | \ ˈhärt-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce heartbreaking (audio) \

Kids Definition of heartbreaking

: causing great sorrow a heartbreaking story

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More from Merriam-Webster on heartbreaking

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heartbreaking

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heartbreaking

Spanish Central: Translation of heartbreaking

Nglish: Translation of heartbreaking for Spanish Speakers

Comments on heartbreaking

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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