also pace-maker, 1884, originally a rider or boat that sets the pace for others in training. Meaning "the node of the heart whivh determines the beat rate" is from 1910; sense of "man-made device for stimulating and regulating heartbeat" is from 1951. From pace (n.) + maker.
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.
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.
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.