Battre la chamade

Battre la chamade
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French Expression

Meaning to beat wildly, pound, race
Literally to beat the fanfare
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Pronunciation French sound files [bahtr(eu) lah shah mahd]
IPA   [batʁə la ʃa mad]

Usage notes: The French expression battre la chamade indicates a wildly beating heart due to fear, exhilaration, or some other strong emotion.

Par exemple…

Ah, tu m’as fait peur ! Mon cœur bat la chamade !   Oh, you startled me! My heart is racing!
Son cœur battait la chamade pendant toute la nuit.   His heart pounded all night.


  • avoir le cœur qui bat la chamade – to have a wildly beating heart
  • se mettre à battre la chamade – to start pounding
Le soldat avait le cœur qui battait la chamade.   The soldier’s heart was beating wildly.
En le voyant, mon cœur s’est mis à battre la chamade.   Upon seeing him, my heart started pounding.

 Battre la chamade is cut down to its bare minimum in the title of Françoise Sagan’s novel La Chamade.

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Mon cœur bat la chamade

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