heart·​burn | \ ˈhärt-ˌbərn \

Definition of heartburn

: a burning discomfort behind the lower part of the sternum due especially to spasmodic reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus

Examples of heartburn in a Sentence

I like spicy food, but it gives me heartburn.

Recent Examples on the Web

While certain foods trigger heartburn and nausea, the most common cause of GERD is abdominal pressure from overeating, being overweight or both, says Dr. Sheth. Jill Provost, Woman's Day, "End Digestive Problems for Good," 21 May 2012 That happens when the stuff in your stomach comes back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Mistakes You Make Right Before Bed That Are Ruining Your Sleep," 28 Nov. 2018 In fact, drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach can be tough on your digestive system and cause heartburn. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, According to a Nutritionist," 21 Nov. 2018 Sufferers of frequent, recurring heartburn (several times a week) should consider that Zegerid OTC is in the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) class; Pepsid and Zantac, on the other hand, are H2 antagonists. Barbara Brody, Woman's Day, "Stop the Burn," 2 Apr. 2010 Many widely used nonprescription drugs originally were only available by prescription, including allergy treatment Claritin and heartburn remedy Prilosec. Linda A. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "FDA plans to ease OTC approvals for some prescription drugs," 17 July 2018 Acid reflux happens when stomach acid reverses into your esophagus, creating symptoms like chest pain, heartburn, problems swallowing, a lump in your throat, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "Is Your Chest Pain Physical or Mental?," 14 Nov. 2018 How much heartburn are all of these tariff battles causing four Republicans in Congress who were planning to go into these midterms campaigning on the idea of a strong economy? Fox News, "Amb. Jon Huntsman previews the Trump-Putin summit," 16 July 2018 Republicans are trying to use President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court to give U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a little heartburn. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Republicans try to make Supreme Court fight unpleasant for Bill Nelson," 11 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2019

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The first known use of heartburn was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for heartburn



English Language Learners Definition of heartburn

: an unpleasant hot feeling in your chest caused by something that you ate


heart·​burn | \ -ˌbərn \

Medical Definition of heartburn

: a burning discomfort behind the lower part of the sternum usually related to spasm of the lower end of the esophagus or of the upper part of the stomach often in association with gastroesophageal reflux

called also cardialgia, pyrosis

— compare water brash

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More from Merriam-Webster on heartburn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heartburn

Spanish Central: Translation of heartburn

Nglish: Translation of heartburn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heartburn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heartburn

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