[ uh-rith-mee-uh, ey-rith- ]
/ əˈrɪð mi ə, eɪˈrɪð- /

noun Pathology.

any disturbance in the rhythm of the heartbeat.
Also arhythmia.

Origin of arrhythmia

1885–90; < New Latin < Greek arrhythmía. See a-6, rhythm, -ia

Related forms

arrhyth·mic [uh-rith-mik, ey-rith-] /əˈrɪð mɪk, eɪˈrɪð-/, ar·rhyth·mi·cal, adjectivear·rhyth·mi·cal·ly, adverb

Can be confused

arrhythmic eurhythmic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arrhythmia

British Dictionary definitions for arrhythmia


/ (əˈrɪðmɪə) /


any variation from the normal rhythm in the heartbeat

Word Origin for arrhythmia

C19: New Latin, from Greek arrhuthmia, from a- 1 + rhuthmos rhythm
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

Medicine definitions for arrhythmia


[ ə-rĭðmē-ə ]


An irregularity in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for arrhythmia


[ ə-rĭðmē-ə ]

An abnormal rhythm of the heart, often detectable on an electrocardiogram. Electrical impulses in the heart normally originate in the sinoatrial node of the right atrium during diastole and are transmitted through the atrioventricular node to the ventricles, causing the muscle contraction that usually occurs during systole. However, abnormalities of electrical conduction during diastole or systole can result in various alterations of the heartbeat, such as changes in heart rate, skipped or irregular beats, and fibrillation of the heart muscle, which can be life threatening. These electrical disturbances can be caused by metabolic abnormalities, inadequate blood supply (as in coronary artery disease), drug effects, chronic disease, and other factors. Arrhythmias are sometimes treated with the implantation of a pacemaker.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.