Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A single complete pulsation of the heart.
  • noun A vital force or driving impulse.
  • noun An instant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pulsation of the heart, including one complete systole and diastole, corresponding to that motion in the arteries called the pulse.
  • noun Hence Figuratively, a thought; an emotion, especially one that is tender or sad; a pang; a throb or throe of feeling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun the audible and palpable rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart.
  • noun immediately.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One pulsation of the heart; especially an irregular one, hence the emotion which causes it.
  • noun The rhythm at which a heart pulsates, a cardiac indicator
  • noun A driving impulse or vital force.
  • noun A very short space of time; an instant.
  • noun computing A periodic signal generated by hardware or software to indicate normal operation or to synchronize other parts of a system.

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

  • noun an animating or vital unifying force
  • noun a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
  • noun the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From heart +‎ beat

Examples

  • With the nine-year-old Doha round of trade talks on the back burner, "the only [global] trade negotiation with a heartbeat is the GPA," says Simon Evenett, a trade economist at the University of Saint Gallen in Switzerland.

    EU Pushes China to Open Bidding

  • During thawing, the heartbeat is also the first physiological activity that is restored.

    Archive 2004-09-01

  • "The drum is what we call the heartbeat of our people," he said.

    The Seattle Times

  • Guterl said the walk-a-thon inspired the school and the community to work together to teach students about the importance of the library, which he called the heartbeat of a community.

    Examiner

  • I'd get it in heartbeat if I could get it in .257 Roberts or 7x57.

    Marlin XL7

  • I'd get it in heartbeat if I could get it in .257 Roberts or 7x57.

    Marlin XL7

  • I'd get it in heartbeat if I could get it in .257 Roberts or 7x57.

    Marlin XL7

  • Once a heartbeat is established on sonogram, that rate drops to 5% or less.

    Emergency Contraception Use Does Not Adversely Affect Pregnancy Outcome

  • I'd get it in heartbeat if I could get it in .257 Roberts or 7x57.

    Marlin XL7

  • The heart must be “defibrillated” quickly, because a person's chance of surviving drops by 7 to 10 percent for each minute a normal heartbeat is not restored.

    Youth Heart Watch

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