heart·​break·​ing ˈhärt-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce heartbreaking (audio)
: causing intense sorrow or distress
heartbreaking news
a heartbreaking defeat
: producing an intense emotional reaction or response
heartbreaking beauty
heartbreakingly 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Filmmaker Itai Anghel speaks to members of Shiri’s family, including a heartbreaking interview with her sister Dana. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 24 Nov. 2023 And the twists and turns of the story were so surprising and heartbreaking. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 24 Nov. 2023 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes got some words of support from his wife Brittany after his team's heartbreaking loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 Reading accounts of the extreme physical consequences of his alcohol and drug addiction, as well as his many painful, heartbreaking and public relapses, one is reminded of how addiction tears through a person’s life. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2023 An autumn that began with national championship dreams has now been whittled to the Rob Gronkowski Bowl or bust, and the aftermath of this final dagger on Saturday night was absolutely heartbreaking. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2023 Experts also worry that this technology is not necessarily accurate, meaning that amateur sleuths could make mistakes with heartbreaking consequences. Deidre Olsen, WIRED, 15 Nov. 2023 Having — and obviously, the very hardest thing was watching — one of my sons spiral out of control, and go into rehab, be suicidal, there's just nothing more heartbreaking. Jackie Fields, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2023 The film, by Thom Zimny, challenges several assumptions about Stallone, who narrates his life in startlingly candid, often heartbreaking, recollections about his rise and occasional falls. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heartbreaking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of heartbreaking was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near heartbreaking

Cite this Entry

“Heartbreaking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartbreaking. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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