Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pulsation of the heart; a heartbeat.
  • n. Sentimental or tender emotion.
  • n. Infatuation.
  • n. A sweetheart.
  • n. The object of one's infatuation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A heartbeat
  • n. The object of one’s desires or infatuation; a sweetheart
  • n. A usually handsome celebrity or famous person

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an object of infatuation

Etymologies

From heart + throb (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "There are times when the limitations of the printed word come into focus, like when there is a need to convey how it sounded when Robert Pattinson, who stars as the vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen in the forthcoming movie “Twilight,�? stepped onto a riser at the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia on Thursday evening in front of more than 1,000 mostly teenage girls.

    In collective pitch, frequency and volume the sound would make a shuttle launching seem demure, a Jack White guitar solo retiring, a jackhammer somehow soothing. To reach into history, it may have approached Beatles-at-Shea-Stadium loud, replete with the weeping, swooning and self-hugging, and only the ambient flutter of cellphone cameras and furious texting by way of modern update."

    -- "The Vampire of the Mall,", NYT, 11/16/08

    November 18, 2008