heart·​break·​ing | \ˈhärt-ˌbrā-kiŋ \

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 \ 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 battle’s sound and fury is but a small part of Manila’s heartbreaking story. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, "‘Rampage’ Review: MacArthur’s Bloody Promise," 25 Oct. 2018 And the people have questions about all sorts of really heartbreaking things and that sort of strikes the reader that this is the man whose been sort of authorized to give them advice. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Author Jessica Weisberg on Recode Decode," 23 June 2018 When your visit comes to an end, head out on the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway—the scenic drive will make your departure a little less heartbreaking. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Friendliest Cities in the U.S.," 8 Aug. 2018 Far from being discouraged about a heartbreaking opening loss to France, Australia is confident going into another tough World Cup match against Denmark. Anne M. Peterson, chicagotribune.com, "Australia confident of bounceback result against Denmark," 20 June 2018 For me, one of the most heartbreaking moments in the book is when, years later, you and Eric get married, and George and his new wife, Olivia, come to the wedding party, Paul comes, Ringo comes, but John couldn’t go. Alexi Lubomirski; Fashion Editor: Joanna Hillman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Taylor Swift Interviews Rock ’n’ Roll Icon Pattie Boyd on Songwriting, Beatlemania, & the Power of Being a Muse," 10 July 2018 Sharon Osbourne is reflecting on the heartbreaking moment her eldest child decided to leave home at age 16. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "Sharon Osbourne Says It 'Broke My Heart' When Eldest Daughter Aimee Moved Out at Age 16," 5 June 2018 Recordings of the anxious, heartbreaking moments between 911 dispatchers and Stoneman Douglas’ students and teachers were released Wednesday, providing one of the most troubling accounts yet of what happened that day. Lisa J. Huriash, Sun-Sentinel.com, "New 911 calls released in Stoneman Douglas shooting: 'They are all bleeding. They are going to die'," 15 Mar. 2018 Kylie Jenner was on the cover of Forbes Magazine today for having a net worth of 900 million dollars, which is heartbreaking. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "There's a GoFundMe Dedicated to Raising $100M For Kylie Jenner to Become a Billionaire," 12 July 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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