heartbreaking

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Now, days after his death, Dove has spoken out about her friend's passing and the message is heartbreaking. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Dove Cameron Posts an Emotional Tribute to Her "Descendants" Costar Cameron Boyce," 10 July 2019 This recreational segregation had a heartbreaking impact on African American children. Victoria W. Wolcott, The Conversation, "The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks," 9 July 2019 The latter would be a heartbreaking irony considering her last release, Secret Superstar, which revolved around a Muslim girl pursuing music on the internet anonymously and eventually breaking free of a restrictive life. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Amidst its many crises, India’s obsessing over an 18-year-old’s decision to quit Bollywood," 3 July 2019 But most of all, this is a gripping coming-of-age story, at turns horrifying, heartbreaking, poignant and buoying. Dallas News, "Joyce Carol Oates is at the height of her powers with 'My Life as a Rat'," 1 July 2019 My position on gun ownership arises from my exposure to the heartbreaking aftermath of gun violence. Amy Dickinson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Amy: Correcting the record on ammo and guns," 30 June 2019 On Wednesday, Duane made the heartbreaking announcement that Beth had lost her years-long battle with throat cancer. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Dog the Bounty Hunter Tearfully Speaks About Wife Beth Chapman's Final Moments," 29 June 2019 Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter Valeria is heartbreaking. Time Staff, Time, "10 Things We Learned About 2020 From the Democratic Debates," 28 June 2019 And so, in place of the extremities of the heartbreaking finale of Toy Story 3, this fourth entry gives us a more tender and bittersweet farewell. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Toy Story 4' Says Goodbye (Again)," 23 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of heartbreaking

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heartbreaking

Statistics for heartbreaking

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heartbreaking

The first known use of heartbreaking was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heartbreaking

heartbreaking

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of heartbreaking

: causing great sadness, disappointment, etc.

heartbreaking

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

Kids Definition of heartbreaking

: causing great sorrow a heartbreaking story

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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