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An electrocardiogram showing sinus tachycardia of about 100 beats per minute
A diagram of the human heart, from Outlines of Human Physiology (1834)[1]


From New Latin tachycardia, from Ancient Greek ταχύς (takhús, swift) + καρδία (kardía, heart), analysable as tachy- +‎ -cardia; compare French tachycardie.



tachycardia (countable and uncountable, plural tachycardias)

  1. A rapid resting heart rate, especially one above 100 beats per minute. [from 19th c.]
    Synonym: tachyrhythmia
    Antonym: bradycardia
    • 1896 June, E[dwin] M. Hale, “The Heart at the Beginning and Ending of the Menstrual Life: Reprinted from the Hahnemannian Monthly, June, 1896”, in The Hahnemannian Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa.: Homœopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, OCLC 794301855, page 1:
      The heart becomes irritable, there is nervous palpitation, or attacks of paroxysmal tachycardia.
    • 1988, G.M. Woerlee, “Cardiac Arrhythmias – General”, in Common Perioperative Problems and the Anaesthetist (Developments in Critical Care Medicine and Anaesthesiology), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, DOI:10.1007/978-94-009-1323-3, →ISBN, page 123:
      Tachycardias of all types reduce the cardiac output if the rate is high enough. [] The main difference between the tachycardias as regards the reduction of cardiac output is the rate at which they cause a significant reduction of cardiac output, and this depends on the type of tachycardia.
    • 2003, Rebecca L. Cypher; Donna Adelsperger; Keiko L. Torgersen, “Interpretation of Fetal Heart Rate Patterns”, in Nancy Feinstein, Keiko L. Torgersen, and Jana Atterbury, editors, Fetal Heart Monitoring: Principles and Practices, 3rd edition, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt, →ISBN, page 117:
      Tachycardia is defined as a FHR [fetal heart rate] above 160 bpm that lasts for at least 10 minutes. Tachycardia represents increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic autonomic tone and, therefore, is generally associated with a normal loss of FHR baseline variability [].
    • 2013, “Therapies and Treatments”, in Q. Ashton Acton, editor, Tachycardia: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional, 2013 edition, Atlanta, Ga.: ScholarlyEditions, →ISBN, page 235:
      With atrial tachycardia, the atria of the heart beats abnormally fast. Though often unpleasant for the patient, an atrial tachycardia is typically not fatal. However, some tachycardia, particularly ventricular tachycardia, can trigger ventricular fibrillation wherein the heart beats chaotically resulting in little or no net flow of blood from the heart to the brain and organs.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ George Hayward (1834), “Of the Circulation of the Blood”, in Outlines of Human Physiology; Designed for the Use of the Higher Classes in Common Schools, Boston, Mass.: Marsh, Capen & Lyon, OCLC 1611668, page 47.

Further reading[edit]