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

  • n. A trembling or shaking.
  • n. Irregular, rapid beating or pulsation of the heart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An abnormal awareness of the beating of the heart.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rapid pulsation; a throbbing; esp., an abnormal, rapid beating of the heart as when excited by violent exertion, strong emotion, or by disease.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of palpitating, throbbing, quivering, or trembling; specifically, a beating or pulsation of the heart, particularly a violent and unnatural beating or pulsation, such as is excited by violent action, by emotion, or by disease.

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

  • n. a rapid and irregular heart beat
  • n. a shaky motion


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Under this authority the term palpitation may be employed to mark those morbid motions which chiefly characterise this disease, notwithstanding that this term has been anticipated by Sauvages, as characteristic of another species of tremor [7].

    An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

  • A heart palpitation occurs when a person feels that his or her heart is beating irregularly.

    Heart Palpitations

  • In connexion with the heart there are three phenomena, which, though apparently of the same nature, are really not so, namely palpitation, pulsation, and respiration.

    On youth and old age, on life and death, on breathing

  • I wake up at the slightest noise in the night, and, having some nerves of my own, usually get a case of heart palpitation, which is deucedly unpleasant.

    Rival Pitchers of Oakdale

  • Thus, in connection with the heart, its natural pulsation is energy, whereas its palpitation, which is an excessive and unnatural movement, is passion and not energy.

    NPNF2-09. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus

  • You see at once a chance for constriction of the aorta by the muscles under which it passes, causing without doubt much of the disease known as palpitation of the heart, which is only a bouncing back of the blood that has been stopped at the crura.

    Philosophy of Osteopathy

  • It is connected with the main part of the mountain by a narrow ridge, barely broad enough for a mule-path, with treeless slopes on either hand, so steep, that, on our return, the _Teniente_ preferred risking an attack of "palpitation" to riding along its crest.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 30, April, 1860

  • And in all cases emotional reaction may set in with anxieties, and bodily symptoms such as palpitation of the heart may result, whenever an effort is made to disregard the nervous fear.


  • Another kind of palpitation may sometimes arise from the retrograde motions of the heart, as in fear.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • Sometimes my pulse beat so quickly and hardly, that I felt the palpitation of every artery; at others, I nearly sank to the ground through languor and extreme weakness.

    Chapter 4


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