heart·​break·​ing ˈhärt-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce heartbreaking (audio)
: causing intense sorrow or distress
heartbreaking news
a heartbreaking defeat
: producing an intense emotional reaction or response
heartbreaking beauty
heartbreakingly adverb
a heartbreakingly tragic movie

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Miami is coming off a heartbreaking 102-101 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, but recorded three wins in the four previous games. Nick Hennion, Chicago Tribune, 10 Jan. 2023 Theodore came back after a heartbreaking 46-45 loss at the buzzer to LeFlore the night before to defeat Daphne in overtime Friday afternoon to win the Green Bracket consolation championship. al, 30 Dec. 2022 Its season opener was a heartbreaking 3OT 37-35 loss to Houston at the Alamodome. Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2022 Best Man Holiday is Stepmom-level sad, but the most heartbreaking moments in the film are intermixed with the most joyful. Jumoke Balogun, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2022 Whatever the fate of the bodies, whatever the future of Russia, however one regards the violent drama of Romanov rule, this remains the most heartbreaking and unbearable scene of them all. Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 Maryland football rallied but suffered a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to Purdue at home on Saturday to fall to 4-2. Ryan Mcfadden, Baltimore Sun, 9 Oct. 2022 The Pirates are coming off a heartbreaking 39-38 loss to Foley last week. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 6 Oct. 2022 Turns out, Better Call Saul had something different, but no less heartbreaking, in mind. Andy Meek, BGR, 19 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of heartbreaking was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near heartbreaking

Cite this Entry

“Heartbreaking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartbreaking. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

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