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Heartthrob is a closed compound word. We will examine the meaning of the word heartthrob, its etymology, and some examples of its use in a sentence or two.

A heartthrob is the object of romantic desire; a heartthrob is almost always a male. The term heartthrob often refers to teen age pop idols who are employed as actors or musicians, but it may be used in conversation to refer to any young, attractive person—almost always male. The idea is that one’s heart beats faster when looking at or in the presence of a heartthrob. The compound word heartthrob came into use in the 1800 to literally mean the strong beat of one’s heart; the term came to mean a male object of romantic desire in the 1920s, when many slang terms came into use.


A Bermudian serving as a patrolman in a US police force was promoted to heartthrob status after a cheeky social-media message to his sergeant went viral. (Royal Gazette)

‘Roar’ singer Katy Perry and ‘Twilight’ heartthrob Robert Pattinson have been friends for about a decade now; she reportedly helped him find closure when he broke up with Kristen Stewart. (Gulf News)

Eventually, the multiple Oscar winner’s increasingly packed schedule took Hanks out of the running and Hollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise became the obvious choice. (Newsweek)