verb (used with object), de·fi·bril·lat·ed, de·fi·bril·lat·ing. Medicine/Medical.

  1. to arrest the fibrillation of (heart muscle) by applying electric shock across the chest, thus depolarizing the heart cells and allowing normal rhythm to return.


  1. med the application of an electric current to the heart to restore normal rhythmic contractions after the onset of atrial or ventricular fibrillation

1940, in reference to heartbeat, from de- + fibrillation “a beating in an abnormal way,” from Modern Latin fibrilla, diminutive of fibra “fiber,” in reference to the muscle strands of the heart that contract irregularly in this condition.


  1. The stopping of fibrillation of the heart muscle and the restoration of normal contractions using drugs or electric shock.

  1. Termination of fibrillation of the heart muscle and restoration of normal heart rhythm, especially by one or more electric shocks administered by paddles applied to the chest.

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