[pal-pi-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for palpitation on

Origin of palpitation

1595–1605; < Latin palpitātiōn- (stem of palpitātiō) a throbbing. See palpitate, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for palpitation

beat, tremble, shaking, pulsation

Examples from the Web for palpitation

Historical Examples of palpitation

  • One evening after dinner he was seized with a palpitation of the heart, and almost fainted.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • Palpitation often arises from indigestion, in which case see Indigestion.

  • Yes, Jane, I see that you are in for an attack of palpitation.

    A World of Girls

    L. T. Meade

  • To it relate trembling, palpitation, paleness, and inability to speak.

  • No palpitation or respiratory movement can be detected in it.

    The Insect

    Jules Michelet

Word Origin and History for palpitation

early 15c., from Middle French palpitation, from Latin palpitationem (nominative palpitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of palpitare "to throb, to flutter, to tremble, to quiver," frequentative of palpare "touch gently, stroke; wheedle, coax" (see feel (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

palpitation in Medicine


  1. Perceptible forcible pulsation of the heart, usually with an increase in frequency or force, with or without irregularity in rhythm.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.