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 heartbreaking (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 Pioneers suffered a heartbreaking 66-64 loss to North Oldham in the Eighth Region semifinals Friday night. James Weber, The Enquirer, "Kentucky high school basketball: Simon Kenton falls by 2 to North Oldham in 8th Region," 27 Mar. 2021 Each story that Williams, a psychology professor at Purdue University, told me was more heartbreaking than the one before. Daryl Austin, The Atlantic, "The Psychology of the Silent Treatment," 26 Mar. 2021 But now, the show may deliver the most heartbreaking moment of all: In a recent interview with Deadline, Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed that season 17 may mark the end of the show. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "'Grey’s Anatomy' Fans Are NOT Going to Like What the Showrunner Just Said About the Show’s Future," 12 Mar. 2021 The most heartbreaking news was in the Twins' camp, where manager Rocco Baldelli announced that bench coach Mike Bell would miss all of spring training after having surgery two weeks ago for kidney cancer. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: MLB spring training looks different in a pandemic, with tents, outdoor weight rooms. But it's still baseball.," 17 Feb. 2021 Lillis conveys lovely, openhearted energy; Root nails his viscerally hateful role; Greer and Zahn are memorably quirky; and the formidable Martindale glows in a heartbreaking climactic scene with Bettany. Gary Goldstein, chicagotribune.com, "‘Uncle Frank’ review: Strong performances can’t redeem Alan Ball’s heavy-handed personal story," 26 Nov. 2020 Its final 2020 game was a heartbreaking 3-2 Western Conference final playoff loss at Seattle on Dec. 7. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Minnesota United to open regular season in early April, month later than usual," 25 Jan. 2021 The film’s most heartbreaking moment finds her on the edge of a river, standing on a cliff in the pouring rain, crying and begging for a migrating Native American tribe half-visible across the water to take her back to her Kiowa family. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "The Gorgeous, Moving News of the World Features Tom Hanks at His Best," 15 Jan. 2021 Cleveland is coming off a heartbreaking 47-42 loss on Monday night to the Ravens. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "How to watch every NFL game (12/19/20 and 12/20/20): Week 15 live streams, TV, odds," 19 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for heartbreaking

Time Traveler

The first known use of heartbreaking was in 1591

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Statistics for heartbreaking

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heartbreaking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartbreaking. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on heartbreaking

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heartbreaking

Nglish: Translation of heartbreaking for Spanish Speakers

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