One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1derogatory, informal A person considered to be excessively soft-hearted or liberal.as modifier ‘bleeding-heart environmentalists’
- ‘Things are such, in case the bleeding hearts haven't noticed, that restrooms on office floors now require a key to get in.’
- ‘They have gotten rid of all of their poor and all of their ghettos and didn't have to spend any money or listen to any bleeding hearts.’
- ‘Apart from helping with the aid effort, the developed nations and international banks wiped out their debt, which set a precedent that the bleeding hearts leapt upon and further pressed home their point about African and Third World debt.’
- ‘Even the bleeding-heart liberals that inhabit the SoHo area are forced to admit that this has been his finest hour.’
- ‘Catchers are reluctant sometimes to talk about this because they don't want to come across as a bunch of bleeding hearts.’
- ‘Nobody ever accused Ronald Reagan of being a bleeding-heart liberal.’
- ‘Amazingly, over half of them - bleeding hearts mindlessly drawn to the plight of the underdog - backed Brand X.’
- ‘But just in case you think this is only a matter for Africans and bleeding hearts, there's more.’
- ‘I was beginning to worry that our campus newspaper was becoming a forum for bleeding-heart liberalism.’
- ‘It is the realm of everyday life in which we live that is dismissed by economists as the realm of the bleeding hearts.’
- ‘He was the model of a bleeding-heart do-gooder.’
- ‘His editorial in the March issue should, but won't, quiet some of the bleeding hearts who support Pete Rose.’
- ‘Progressives are regularly caricatured as bleeding hearts, soft on crime.’
- ‘The minister declared, ‘I'm not afraid of the bleeding hearts, I'll fight the war against them.’’
- ‘Even the real bleeding hearts can't get behind this.’
- ‘If the bleeding hearts in New York and Los Angeles wanted to coddle their drug dealers, that was their business.’
- ‘I know, I can hear the bleeding hearts already - some people can't afford that type of plan.’
- ‘Chekhov had no legal qualifications; nor was he a bleeding-heart liberal.’
- ‘Some bleeding hearts say, oh, my, so many players took steroids, it isn't fair to single out Bonds.’
- ‘Only bleeding hearts with a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set still believe in voting rights.’
2Any of a number of plants which have red, or partly red, heart-shaped flowers.
a tropical twining shrub with cream and red flowers, widely cultivated under glass (Clerodendrum thomsoniae, family Verbenaceae).
a popular herbaceous garden plant related to Dutchman's breeches (genus Dicentra, family Fumariaceae, in particular D. cucullaria).
- ‘None of those prim roses, bleeding hearts or pansies this year, no sir.’
- ‘The roses were in full bloom along with the lilies, bleeding hearts, tulips, and dandelions.’
- ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials - including bleeding heart, butterfly weed, columbine, delphinium, liatris, and penstemon - require a period of chilling to germinate.’
- ‘The first to appear in our garden is Dicentra spectabilis, the bleeding heart, with long, fleshy stems, deeply-cut foliage and red and white heart shaped-flowers that will open in April if the weather is kind.’
- ‘The other plants grown in her kitchen garden include crotons, bleeding heart, tomato, money plant and anthuriums.’
- ‘I walk to the river on a path flanked by bleeding hearts, yellow violets, and pink curly lilies, and the birdsong fades only because the sound of the river increases as I approach.’
- ‘Plants, such as coral bells and fringed bleeding heart, will produce flowers all season, especially if they are regularly picked.’
- ‘We often went to the park for picnics, sitting on the cannon in the sun, marvelling at the dewy luminescence of the bleeding heart begonias in the steamy green light of the conservatory.’
- ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials, including bleeding hearts, columbines, phlox, and primulas, require a period of chilling to germinate.’
- ‘There was a full-length mirror at the end of the hall next to which stood a small end table with a bowl of bleeding hearts.’
3A dove with an oval red patch on the breast, found on islands around the Philippines.
Genus Gallicolumba, family Columbidae: several species
- ‘For $15 you can get a nice bleeding heart dove, but that might be a poor choice for a conservative amour.’
- ‘Visitors to the Lawn Aviary can enjoy the antics of laughing thrushes, hornbills, golden pheasants, cockatiels, starlings, white-cheeked turacos and bleeding heart doves from the enclosed viewing plaza.’
- ‘When the bleeding heart dove flies into the cathedral's windows and falls out of favor with the skies, this is no accident; what it is is the manner in which symbols will make themselves known to us.’
- ‘Parrots, parakeets, bleeding heart doves, cuckoos, owls and large amounts of small birds can still be seen.’
- ‘Well he was the very first bleeding heart dove I ever purchased, and I bought him in 1973 and he is alive and well today in 1996.’
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