heartbeat

noun
heart·​beat | \ ˈhärt-ˌbēt How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

Definition of heartbeat

1 : one complete pulsation of the heart
2 : the vital center or driving impulse
3 : a brief space of time : flash used chiefly in the phrase in a heartbeat

Examples of heartbeat in a Sentence

The patient had a rapid heartbeat. I'd accept a job offer from that company in a heartbeat.
Recent Examples on the Web Four days after the Supreme Court ruling, a federal appeals court let a 2020 law banning most abortions when a heartbeat can be detected — at about six weeks — to go into effect. Fox News, 25 July 2022 Such laws ban abortions from the time a fetus' heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around the sixth week of pregnancy. CBS News, 19 July 2022 Such laws ban abortions from the time a fetus’ heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around the sixth week of pregnancy. Arleigh Rodgers, Chicago Tribune, 19 July 2022 On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee, the biggest caucus in Congress, endorsed the Heartbeat Protection Act, a bill that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. Annie Karni, BostonGlobe.com, 15 July 2022 But Ohio has banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected unless the mother's life is threatened. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 13 July 2022 The increasingly severe restrictions at home, however, have given rise to a small-scale but horrifying phenomenon: patients who suffer late-term pregnancy complications being denied lifesaving care if a fetal heartbeat can still be detected. Laura Kingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2022 Ohio bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Grayson Quay, The Week, 6 July 2022 This provision is partly a reaction to a Texas law that creates a private right of action for anyone to sue patients or providers involved in abortions performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally about six weeks. Hartford Courant, 28 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heartbeat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of heartbeat

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for heartbeat

Time Traveler

The first known use of heartbeat was in 1850

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Dictionary Entries Near heartbeat

heart balm

heartbeat

heart block

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Statistics for heartbeat

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Heartbeat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartbeat. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for heartbeat

heartbeat

noun
heart·​beat | \ ˈhärt-ˌbēt How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

Kids Definition of heartbeat

: a single contracting and expanding of the heart

heartbeat

noun
heart·​beat | \ ˈhärt-ˌbēt How to pronounce heartbeat (audio) \

Medical Definition of heartbeat

: one complete pulsation of the heart

More from Merriam-Webster on heartbeat

Nglish: Translation of heartbeat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heartbeat

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