Definition of heartbeat in US English:

heartbeat

noun

  • 1The pulsation of the heart.

    • ‘Then I realized that I couldn't hear anything at all, nothing but a constant thudding like a heartbeat in my eardrum.’
    • ‘He remembered the day's events vividly and felt his heartbeat quicken pace as he remembered the routine attack on the Alliance convoy.’
    • ‘The common symptoms of anaemia are tiredness, shortness of breath and awareness of the heartbeat (palpitations).’
    • ‘She scrambled away, her heartbeat suddenly quickening in fear.’
    • ‘His breathing did not change, nor did his heartbeat quicken.’
    • ‘I sat up when I heard the doorbell and my heartbeat quickened as I got to my feet and raced out of my room, down the stairs and stopped at the bottom one.’
    • ‘Other drugs may be given if pain persists, if there is fluid on the lungs or a fast heartbeat.’
    • ‘Marcy felt her breath quicken, her heartbeat accelerate and crescendo in her ears to an overpowering drone.’
    • ‘In one particularly engaging scene a barrage of news reports on black ‘suspects’ is pasted over the quickening thump of a heartbeat.’
    • ‘My heartbeat quickens even more at the mere sight of her.’
    • ‘My heartbeat quickened with every passing second, so that I wanted to confess to the world…’
    • ‘The midwife or doctor may use a device placed on the abdomen to amplify the heartbeat.’
    • ‘Looking across the dark waters that separate our houses, I can't help but feel my heartbeat quicken and the resolve in my mind harden.’
    • ‘His squeeze grew just a little lighter than usual when he felt her heartbeat quicken far more than it usually did, her breath intake having been sharp.’
    • ‘However they may lead to palpitations, which is an unpleasant awareness of the heartbeat, often described as a thumping in the chest.’
    • ‘My heartbeat just quickened and it kept increasing.’
    • ‘As he walked up to her she felt her heartbeat quicken.’
    • ‘Your heartbeat's pace has quickened by a large, unhealthy, degree.’
    • ‘I could feel his breath against my neck and through my dress I could feel his heartbeat pulsating through my body as he pulled me closer.’
    • ‘His heartbeat quickened as he hurried towards her room.’
    pulsation, pulsing, throb, throbbing, vibration, pounding, thudding, thud, thumping, thump, drumming
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually heartbeats A single pulsation of the heart.
      ‘her heartbeats steadied’
      • ‘Thus, it is important to inquire about the use of over-the-counter medication in pregnant women who complain about palpitations or extra heartbeats.’
      • ‘The words made Shipper's cheeks turn pink and he felt his heartbeats quicken again.’
      • ‘High doses of caffeine can increase the heart rate (the number of heartbeats per minute).’
      • ‘A heart-rate monitor is a device that shows your heartbeats per minute - a measure of your effort.’
      • ‘Despite this, Perry started to massage the president's chest with his long fingers, trying to force a heartbeat.’
      • ‘An average teen like them has 60 to 75 heartbeats per minute.’
      • ‘Oh, of course she knew, she could feel them, smell them, hear those steady heartbeats and rushing blood, practically tasting the crimson on her tongue.’
      • ‘Most of the time, palpitations and irregular heartbeats are harmless.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the man drew in a sharp gasp and the heart monitor erupted into a flurry of sound, beeping off the steady, but rapid heartbeats.’
    2. 1.2 An animating or vital unifying force.
      ‘conflict is the essential heartbeat of fiction’
      • ‘Flintoff, as Selvey correctly deduces, has become the heartbeat of the team; the carthorse that also provides the gallops.’
      • ‘In many ways, Pittman is a reincarnation of former team heartbeat Larry Centers.’
      • ‘For twelve years Keane has been the heartbeat of the United team.’
      • ‘They were the team's engine and heartbeat, and without them things would not function effectively.’
      • ‘Bruce has never been able to select his first-choice line up this season and it now seems likely that he will lose the heartbeat of the team just as the side threaten to produce some consistency.’
      • ‘He may not garner the headlines that some of his teammates accrue, but Lambert is the heartbeat of the robust team which has been transformed into treble winners under O'Neill.’
      • ‘For Johnson is the heartbeat of the England team; its brain, its pulse, its cold, aggressive spirit.’
      • ‘The heartbeat of the Portuguese team, a fighter as well as an artist, he's had an absolute blinder.’

Phrases

  • a heartbeat away from

    • Very close to; on the verge of.

      ‘the man who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency’
      • ‘In scenes in which a man, begging for his job, clutches the ankle of his golf-playing boss, the mood is barely a heartbeat away from unbearable melodrama.’
      • ‘And, like the Jets, they were lucky to have won last week, when Seattle was a heartbeat away from sending the game into OT.’
      • ‘Three teenaged boys; one was tightrope-stepping along the balustrade, smoking a cigarette, a heartbeat from the long spill.’
      • ‘I think because I often felt quite dark and brooding may have had a little to do with it, or possibly because it was only a heartbeat from Christmas, even when days lasted as long as they did.’
      • ‘He can still flip that switch between tough and sweet whenever he likes, moving in a heartbeat from the charm of a soft-spoken choirboy to a teeth-clenched icy grill that would make you throw your wallet at him in fear.’
      • ‘By embarrassing the Vice-President you are a heartbeat away from providing aid and comfort to our enemies.’
      • ‘America, you have to ask yourself… is this man ready to be a heartbeat away from the button?’
      • ‘His threshold challenge tonight is to convince the American people that he is prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.’
      • ‘If not, would the popular VP of eight years run as a Republican and oppose the party that had put him a heartbeat away from the Presidency?’
      • ‘Why would he be qualified to be a heartbeat away from the president?’
  • in a heartbeat

    • Instantly; immediately.

      ‘I'd do it again in a heartbeat’
      • ‘They had only been dating a year before he asked her to marry him and she accepted in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘A tornado could take everything I own in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘Now, any reasonable jury would find Marty not guilty in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘The hours, days, and weeks evaporate in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘Drop-dead gorgeous, she has the amazing ability to go from incredibly sweet to incredibly deadly in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘The only reason I even went to work was for money, otherwise I would have quit in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘Janelle says she'd get plastic surgery in a heartbeat.’
      • ‘He guessed Garnet had the kind of money that could make that charge go away in a heartbeat anyway.’
      • ‘She had me out of the wet suit and into a warm tub in a heartbeat.’

Pronunciation

heartbeat

/ˈhärtˌbēt//ˈhɑrtˌbit/