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See also: heart breaker



heart +‎ breaker



heartbreaker (plural heartbreakers)

  1. (agent noun) Someone or something that breaks someone's heart, as:
    1. A person, usually attractive, who flirts with or otherwise enamours another person, but does not reciprocate their love.
      • 2005, Alison Pace, If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, Penguin, →ISBN:
        It wasn't an actual run-in with the heartbreaker himself, but with a very good friend of his. It's actually much better that way, Victor explained, because seeing the friend of the person who stepped on your heart isn't going to kill you all over again.
      • 2006, Lynn Price, Donovan's Paradigm, Behler Publications, →ISBN, page 234:
        "And this little lovely standing next to him is my favorite heartbreaker, The Fair Lady Sara from Samaria. Kids, this is Dr. Donovan." Sara beamed, obviously thrilled at being considered anyone's heartbreaker, especially Uncle Erik's.
      • 2009, Andrea J Buchanan, It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons, Seal Press, →ISBN, page 146:
        I imagined him as the kind of boy who knows girls are equals; the teen with female friends as well as male; then a kind man, a good man, the kind of man who knows better than to be a heartbreaker, despite his looks.
    2. Something that causes sorrow, grief or extreme disappointment.
      • 2011, James Ellroy, White Jazz, Vintage, →ISBN, page 340:
        He's not lucid most of the time, and that's a heartbreaker. The LAPD will not release details on the altercation that earned Dudley Smith his wounds; they know he would prefer to spare the family of the robber he killed the ignominy of public ...
      • 2007, George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone, Penguin, →ISBN:
        It's a heartbreaker, as I was reminded just now when I went to get the chapter reference, reread it, and started bawling.
      • 2011, Bobbi Sheahan, Kathy DeOrnellas, What I Wish I'd Known about Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years, Future Horizons, →ISBN, page 198:
        It's a heartbreaker. The worst part of that situation was trying to console Grace. It was just awful. Don't let experiences like this make you bitter. The truth is, our kids are a challenge, and not everyone is going to want to join us in this journey.
    3. (sports) A match which ends in defeat for a promising player or team.
      • 2004, Mark Stallard, Tales from the Jayhawks Gridiron, Sports Publishing LLC, →ISBN, page 164:
        Kansas appeared in its first bowl following the 1947 season, losing a heartbreaker to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. KU landed in the Bluebonnet Bowl following the 1961 season, and beat up a good Rice squad, 33-7.
      • 2006, Tom Benjey, Keep A-goin': The Life of Lone Star Dietz, Tuxedo Press, →ISBN, page 246:
        Wyoming lost a heartbreaker 7–6. Utah's touchdown was scored on an intercepted pass, Wyoming missed an extra point and, most importantly, an official did not get downfield in time to see a punt hit a Utah player not once, but twice []
      • 2009, Dieter Dubberke, Three Times Blessed, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 94:
        In 1988 and again in 1989 the team went back to Bristol, Connecticut, for the nationals, coming in at third place one year and in second place another, losing the championship to Wisconsin-Oshkosh in a heartbreaker in eleven innings.
    4. (roleplaying games) An independent role-playing game that attempts to fix various perceived design flaws in an established RPG, but whose few innovations will not reach a wide audience due to its lack of marketability.
      • 2002, Ron Edwards, Fantasy Heartbreakers, The Forge:
        This essay is about some 1990s games I'm calling "fantasy heartbreakers," which are truly impressive in terms of the drive, commitment, and personal joy that's evident in both their existence and in their details - yet they are also teeth-grindingly frustrating, in that, like their counterparts from the late 70s, they represent but a single creative step from their source: old-style D&D.
    5. (dated) A curl or lovelock.

Related terms[edit]