Definition of heartbeat in US English:

heartbeat

noun

  • 1The pulsation of the heart.

    • ‘My heartbeat quickens even more at the mere sight of her.’
    • ‘The midwife or doctor may use a device placed on the abdomen to amplify the heartbeat.’
    • ‘As he walked up to her she felt her 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Your heartbeat's pace has quickened by a large, unhealthy, degree.’
    • ‘My heartbeat just quickened and it kept increasing.’
    • ‘Then I realized that I couldn't hear anything at all, nothing but a constant thudding like a heartbeat in my eardrum.’
    • ‘Other drugs may be given if pain persists, if there is fluid on the lungs or a fast heartbeat.’
    • ‘My heartbeat quickened with every passing second, so that I wanted to confess to the world…’
    • ‘The common symptoms of anaemia are tiredness, shortness of breath and awareness of the heartbeat (palpitations).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He remembered the day's events vividly and felt his heartbeat quicken pace as he remembered the routine attack on the Alliance convoy.’
    • ‘His breathing did not change, nor did his heartbeat quicken.’
    • ‘His heartbeat quickened as he hurried towards her room.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However they may lead to palpitations, which is an unpleasant awareness of the heartbeat, often described as a thumping in the chest.’
    • ‘She scrambled away, her heartbeat suddenly quickening in fear.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘An average teen like them has 60 to 75 heartbeats per minute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘High doses of caffeine can increase the heart rate (the number of heartbeats per minute).’
      • ‘Most of the time, palpitations and irregular heartbeats are harmless.’
      • ‘A heart-rate monitor is a device that shows your heartbeats per minute - a measure of your effort.’
      • ‘The words made Shipper's cheeks turn pink and he felt his heartbeats quicken again.’
      • ‘Despite this, Perry started to massage the president's chest with his long fingers, trying to force a heartbeat.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 An animating or vital unifying force.
      ‘conflict is the essential heartbeat of fiction’
      • ‘For Johnson is the heartbeat of the England team; its brain, its pulse, its cold, aggressive spirit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The heartbeat of the Portuguese team, a fighter as well as an artist, he's had an absolute blinder.’
      • ‘They were the team's engine and heartbeat, and without them things would not function effectively.’
      • ‘In many ways, Pittman is a reincarnation of former team heartbeat Larry Centers.’
      • ‘Flintoff, as Selvey correctly deduces, has become the heartbeat of the team; the carthorse that also provides the gallops.’
      • ‘For twelve years Keane has been the heartbeat of the United team.’

Phrases

  • a heartbeat away from

    • Very close to; on the verge of.

      ‘the man who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency’
      • ‘Three teenaged boys; one was tightrope-stepping along the balustrade, smoking a cigarette, a heartbeat from the long spill.’
      • ‘By embarrassing the Vice-President you are a heartbeat away from providing aid and comfort to our enemies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His threshold challenge tonight is to convince the American people that he is prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.’
      • ‘Why would he be qualified to be a heartbeat away from the president?’
      • ‘America, you have to ask yourself… is this man ready to be a heartbeat away from the button?’
  • in a heartbeat

    • Instantly; immediately.

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

Pronunciation

heartbeat

/ˈhɑrtˌbit//ˈhärtˌbēt/