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[hahrt-brey-king] /ˈhɑrtˌbreɪ kɪŋ/
causing intense anguish or sorrow.
Origin of heartbreaking
1600-10; heartbreak + -ing2
Related forms
heartbreakingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heartbreaking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now that the heartbreaking waiting was over, Bert felt capable of anything.

  • It seemed to her amazing that he should continue this heartbreaking quest.

    Colorado Jim George Goodchild
  • His desk was piled with work that had accumulated during the four heartbreaking weeks of his absence.

    Whirligigs O. Henry
  • Then he began to laugh, and that laugh was the most heartbreaking thing in the world.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • But it surely was heartbreaking to have a fellow like that bucking me.

British Dictionary definitions for heartbreaking


extremely sad, disappointing, or pitiful
Derived Forms
heartbreakingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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