pace·​mak·​er | \ ˈpās-ˌmā-kər How to pronounce pacemaker (audio) \

Definition of pacemaker

1a : one that sets the pace for another
b : one that takes the lead or sets an example
2a : a group of cells or a body part (such as the sinus node of the heart) that serves to establish and maintain a rhythmic activity
b : an electrical device for stimulating or steadying the heartbeat or reestablishing the rhythm of an arrested heart

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Other Words from pacemaker

pacemaking \ ˈpās-​ˌmā-​kiŋ How to pronounce pacemaking (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pacemaker


bellwether, leader, pacer, pacesetter, trendsetter


follower, imitator

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Examples of pacemaker in a Sentence

has long been regarded as a pacemaker in home electronics

Recent Examples on the Web

The archbishop, who wears a pacemaker and had knee replacement surgery in 2016, has the right under church law to attend his trial, but is not expected to do so. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Aims to Expedite Trial of U.S. Archbishop," 5 Jan. 2019 The horror story practically writes itself: hacked pacemakers and insulin pumps. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Design a Network That Lives Inside Your Body," 13 Mar. 2019 The representative further said the hacks against the pacemakers had been addressed. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hack causes pacemakers to deliver life-threatening shocks," 9 Aug. 2018 In 1960, the company began work on implantable pacemakers, which became the main driver of growth for Medtronic. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Medtronic Founder Earl Bakken Turned a Tiny Repair Shop Into a Giant of Medical Technology," 26 Oct. 2018 Victoria McCullough, 69, of Escondido, California, was one of the first to receive a pacemaker-like device that stimulates a nerve to push the tongue forward during sleep. Washington Post, "New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom," 12 July 2018 Boston Scientific is one of the biggest makers of heart devices such as pacemakers and artery-opening stents, competing with Medtronic PLC and Abbott Laboratories . Denise Roland, WSJ, "Boston Scientific Acquires U.K.’s BTG for $4.2 Billion," 20 Nov. 2018 That was the spark for what later became an implantable pacemaker that has improved and saved countless lives. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Earl Bakken, Pacemaker," 28 Oct. 2018 That could lead the way to self-powered pacemakers. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Rubbery Power Source Makes Electricity When It Bends," 17 June 2016

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

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near pacemaker


pace egg

pace lap


pace off

pace of life

pace oneself

Statistics for pacemaker

Last Updated

5 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pacemaker

The first known use of pacemaker was in 1884

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English Language Learners Definition of pacemaker

medical : a small electrical machine put inside a person to make the heart beat evenly


pace·​mak·​er | \ ˈpā-ˌsmā-kər How to pronounce pacemaker (audio) \

Medical Definition of pacemaker

1 : a group of cells or a body part (as the sinoatrial node of the heart) that serves to establish and maintain a rhythmic activity
2 : an electrical device for stimulating or steadying the heartbeat or reestablishing the rhythm of an arrested heart

called also pacer

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More from Merriam-Webster on pacemaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pacemaker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pacemaker

Spanish Central: Translation of pacemaker

Nglish: Translation of pacemaker for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pacemaker

Comments on pacemaker

What made you want to look up pacemaker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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