pal·pi·ta·tion | \ˌpal-pə-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of palpitation 

: a rapid pulsation especially : an abnormally rapid or irregular beating of the heart (such as that caused by panic, arrhythmia, or strenuous physical exercise)

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Synonyms for palpitation


beat, beating, pulsation, pulse, throb

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Examples of palpitation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One friend describes her heart palpitations as a soft fluttering that starts in her chest, moves to her neck and sometimes makes her cough. Emily Sohn, Washington Post, "Everyone has heart palpitations, but for some it can be serious," 7 Mar. 2018 Patients who took the drug after drinking alcohol developed nausea, vomiting, sweating, flushing, palpitations, headache and a host of other distressing symptoms, and many stopped drinking. Richard Klasco, New York Times, "Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Antibiotics?," 15 June 2018 If untreated, the infection can spread and cause more serious health problems, including arthritis, heart palpitations and brain inflammation. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "New Effort for Lyme Disease Vaccine Draws Early Fire," 9 July 2018 Marked by sudden feelings of fear with accompanying physical symptoms such as palpitations and sweating, panic attacks are a classic sign of panic disorder, one of the various conditions under the anxiety-disorder umbrella. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "What It's Like to Live With PTSD After Escaping Domestic Violence," 19 Apr. 2018 These young whipper-snappers with their pure romances are giving me palpitations. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Engagement Ring Justin Bieber Gave Hailey Baldwin Is Extremely Large," 9 July 2018 The finance minister, Lim Guan Eng, is Chinese—another appointment that caused palpitations among Malay chauvinists. The Economist, "Malaysia’s ruling party may be gone, but its racial policies survive," 7 June 2018 Symptoms include heart palpitations, facial palsy and arthritis. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Tick season: what you need to know about ticks and how to remove them," 23 May 2018 Side effects may include irritability, agitation, nausea, palpitations, tremor, and accidie. John E. Mcintyre,, "I'm always at the desk," 12 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for palpitation

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

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More Definitions for palpitation


pal·pi·ta·tion | \ˌpal-pə-ˈtā-shən \

Medical Definition of palpitation 

: a rapid pulsation especially : an abnormally rapid or irregular beating of the heart (as that caused by panic, arrhythmia, or strenuous physical exercise)

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Comments on palpitation

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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