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[hahrt-beet] /ˈhɑrtˌbit/
noun, Physiology.
a pulsation of the heart, including one complete systole and diastole.
Origin of heartbeat
First recorded in 1840-50; heart + beat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heartbeat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He listened to Murgatroyd's heartbeat with it while Murgatroyd dozed.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • Then, at last, he detected a heartbeat, very feeble and slow yet unmistakable.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • For a heartbeat, he started to relax the pressure on the throat.

    The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole
  • DeVore looked at his superior expressionless for a heartbeat.

    Final Weapon Everett B. Cole
  • For a heartbeat, Stan regarded the fellow consideringly, then he shook his head.

    Alarm Clock

    Everett B. Cole
British Dictionary definitions for heartbeat


one complete pulsation of the heart See diastole, systole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heartbeat

1850, from heart + beat (n.). From the beginning used as a figure for "a very brief time."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heartbeat in Medicine

heartbeat heart·beat (härt'bēt')
A single complete pulsation of the heart.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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