Definition of bleeding heart in US English:

bleeding heart


  • 1derogatory, informal A person considered to be dangerously softhearted, typically someone considered too liberal in political beliefs.

    as modifier ‘a tirade against bleeding-heart environmentalists’
    • ‘The minister declared, ‘I'm not afraid of the bleeding hearts, I'll fight the war against them.’’
    • ‘Nobody ever accused Ronald Reagan of being a bleeding-heart liberal.’
    • ‘Only bleeding hearts with a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set still believe in voting rights.’
    • ‘Progressives are regularly caricatured as bleeding hearts, soft on crime.’
    • ‘If the bleeding hearts in New York and Los Angeles wanted to coddle their drug dealers, that was their business.’
    • ‘I was beginning to worry that our campus newspaper was becoming a forum for bleeding-heart liberalism.’
    • ‘Even the real bleeding hearts can't get behind this.’
    • ‘But just in case you think this is only a matter for Africans and bleeding hearts, there's more.’
    • ‘It is the realm of everyday life in which we live that is dismissed by economists as the realm of the bleeding hearts.’
    • ‘Things are such, in case the bleeding hearts haven't noticed, that restrooms on office floors now require a key to get in.’
    • ‘Chekhov had no legal qualifications; nor was he a bleeding-heart liberal.’
    • ‘I know, I can hear the bleeding hearts already - some people can't afford that type of plan.’
    • ‘Catchers are reluctant sometimes to talk about this because they don't want to come across as a bunch of 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.’
    • ‘His editorial in the March issue should, but won't, quiet some of the bleeding hearts who support Pete Rose.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was the model of a bleeding-heart do-gooder.’
    • ‘Even the bleeding-heart liberals that inhabit the SoHo area are forced to admit that this has been his finest hour.’
    • ‘Amazingly, over half of them - bleeding hearts mindlessly drawn to the plight of the underdog - backed Brand X.’
    • ‘Some bleeding hearts say, oh, my, so many players took steroids, it isn't fair to single out Bonds.’
  • 2Any of a number of plants that have heart-shaped flowers, typically pink or red.

    a popular herbaceous garden plant (genus Dicentra, family Fumariaceae, in particular D. spectabilus)

    a tropical twining shrub with cream and red flowers, often cultivated under glass (Clerodendrum thomsoniae, family Verbenaceae)

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plants, such as coral bells and fringed bleeding heart, will produce flowers all season, especially if they are regularly picked.’
    • ‘The other plants grown in her kitchen garden include crotons, bleeding heart, tomato, money plant and anthuriums.’
    • ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials - including bleeding heart, butterfly weed, columbine, delphinium, liatris, and penstemon - require a period of chilling to germinate.’
    • ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials, including bleeding hearts, columbines, phlox, and primulas, require a period of chilling to germinate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The roses were in full bloom along with the lilies, bleeding hearts, tulips, and dandelions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘None of those prim roses, bleeding hearts or pansies this year, no sir.’
    • ‘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.’


bleeding heart

/ˌblēdiNG ˈhärt//ˌblidɪŋ ˈhɑrt/