[ peys-mey-ker ]
See synonyms for pacemaker on
  1. Medicine/Medical. an electronic device implanted beneath the skin for providing a normal heartbeat by electrical stimulation of the heart muscle, used in certain heart conditions.

  1. Anatomy, Physiology. any specialized tissue that governs a rhythmic or cyclic biological activity, as the sinoatrial node of the heart that controls heartbeat.

Origin of pacemaker

First recorded in 1880–85; pace1 + maker

Other words from pacemaker

  • pacemaking, noun

Words Nearby pacemaker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pacemaker in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pacemaker


/ (ˈpeɪsˌmeɪkə) /

  1. a person, horse, vehicle, etc, used in a race or speed trial to set the pace

  2. a person, an organization, etc, regarded as being the leader in a particular field of activity

  1. Also called: cardiac pacemaker a small area of specialized tissue within the wall of the right atrium of the heart whose spontaneous electrical activity initiates and controls the beat of the heart

  2. Also called: artificial pacemaker an electronic device for use in certain cases of heart disease to assume the functions of the natural cardiac pacemaker

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

Scientific definitions for pacemaker


[ pāsmā′kər ]

  1. Any of several usually miniaturized and surgically implanted electronic devices used to stimulate or regulate contractions of the heart muscle. Electrodes attached to the heart muscle conduct electrical signals generated from the pacemaker, which either provides constant electrical stimuli to regularize the heartbeat (fixed-rate pacemakers) or provides a stimulus only when electrical activity within the heart is abnormal (demand pacemakers). Pacemakers are used in the treatment of various arrhythmias.

  2. A part of the body, such as the specialized mass of cardiac muscle fibers of the sinoatrial node, that sets the pace or rhythm of physiological activity.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for pacemaker


A group of specialized muscle fibers in the heart that send out impulses to regulate the heartbeat. If the heart's built-in pacemaker does not function properly, an artificial pacemaker may be necessary — a small electrical device that also regulates the heartbeat by sending out impulses. An artificial pacemaker may be placed inside the body surgically or may be worn outside.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.