great sorrow, grief, or anguish.

Origin of heartbreak

First recorded in 1575–85; heart + break
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heartbreak

Contemporary Examples of heartbreak

Historical Examples of heartbreak

  • Neither was the heartbreak in his tone when he spoke of his boy.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I stayed to dinner next day in spite of my heartbreak and my sadness.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • To-day in my loneliness and heartbreak I care and hunger for her more than ever.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The letter was brief, containing a world of heartbreak and broken hopes.

  • The Chisera's whole appearance is of heartbreak and neglect.

    The Arrow-Maker

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for heartbreak



intense and overwhelming grief, esp through disappointment in love
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

Word Origin and History for heartbreak

1580s, from heart + break (n.). Related: Heartbreaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper