Heart Skips a Beat

Also:
Heart misses a beat
Heart stands still

Meaning of Idiom ‘Heart Skips a Beat’

When your heart skips (misses) a beat it means you are frightened, startled, or very excited or surprised. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Walter, Elizabeth. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. https://amzn.to/2Rtgj8z


Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Usage

It is possible for one’s heart to actually miss a beat because of a medical condition or other circumstance, but this idiom is figurative and hyperbolic. Although intense feelings of fear or being startled can certainly cause physical sensations, including an increased heartbeat, none of this is necessary for the idiom to be used.

These expressions can also be used with make or cause, as in “That sudden sonic boom made my heart skip a beat.”

Examples Of Use

“Miranda’s heart skips a beat every time the cute boy looks at her.”

“When I heard about the accident my heart missed a beat but it turned out to be minor.”

“I never thought I’d see a lion in the wild. When I did, my heart stood still. He was magnificent.”

“It was like something out of a horror movie. I was alone in that big house on a stormy night and suddenly a dark figure appeared in the window. I tell you my heart skipped a beat.”

“I should be used to it but every time that train blasts its horn, my heart misses a beat.”

“Seeing her come down the stairs in that dress made my heart skip a beat. I’d never seen her look so beautiful.

Origin

Used since at least the early 1900s.

This idiom calls to mind a terrible shock or surprise that causes one’s heart to physically seize or beat irregularly.

More Idioms Starting with H

More Body Part Idioms

More Heart Idioms

 

Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Walter, Elizabeth. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. https://amzn.to/2Rtgj8z