Definition of palpitation in US English:



usually palpitations
  • A noticeably rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat due to agitation, exertion, or illness.

    • ‘Syncope associated with exertion or palpitations suggests cardiac causes.’
    • ‘I have had a number of patients in my practice that had their first episode of rapid heart action and palpitation during pregnancy.’
    • ‘Extreme anxiety can cause giddiness, heart palpitations, headaches or stomach disorders.’
    • ‘Nine years later, she was admitted to the hospital because of palpitations.’
    • ‘Some of the women reported feeling faint or dizzy, having heart palpitations, or having feelings of nausea.’
    • ‘These conditions can predispose the patient to arrhythmia and to palpitations.’
    • ‘Heart palpitations are the sensation of an irregular rapid or slow beat in the heart.’
    • ‘Most patients have only mild symptoms, such as palpitations or the sensation that their heart is beating rapidly.’
    • ‘Vertigo may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and dizziness, as well as palpitations and sweating.’
    • ‘For symptoms such as insomnia, amnesia, nightmares, rapid heart palpitations and night sweats.’
    • ‘Patients may feel palpitations or a thump in the chest when a beat compensates for a prior missed beat.’
    • ‘Others reported a loss of appetite, insomnia, digestive upsets, palpitations, headaches, and muscular aches and pains.’
    • ‘No specific cause of the palpitations could be identified in 16 percent of the patients.’
    • ‘Heart palpitations and cardiac arrhythmias are common problems encountered by family physicians.’
    • ‘However they may lead to palpitations, which is an unpleasant awareness of the heartbeat, often described as a thumping in the chest.’
    • ‘Most of the time, palpitations and irregular heartbeats are harmless.’
    • ‘Then I told my physician I had been having some minor heart palpitations.’
    • ‘A 34 year old man with a history of migraine presented with palpitations after taking sumatriptan by nasal spray for a severe headache.’
    • ‘It can also be useful in determining the cause of fainting, dizziness or palpitations.’
    • ‘Hyperventilation, palpitations, fear, and anxiety are unreliable diagnostic criteria, as these cases demonstrate.’
    reverberation, resonance, throbbing, throb, vibrating, pulsation, pulsing, rumbling, rumble, beating, beat, drumming, drum, thumping, thump, thrumming, thrum, pounding, pound, palpitating
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin palpitatio(n-), from the verb palpitare (see palpitate).