To be heartbroken is to be so sad that it feels like your heart has cracked inside your chest. You’d be heartbroken after a death, but you can also be heartbroken when you get dumped by your girlfriend or boyfriend. Waaaaaa.
When someone is heartbroken, they are deeply sorrowful or distressed. Feeling heartbroken about a tragic accident or disaster is an understandable response, and being heartbroken after a romantic breakup is basically inevitable. The word heartbroken has been used since the late 1500s, and it comes from heartbreak, which is rooted in the Old English heorte, "heart" and also "spirit" or "soul."