Definition of by heart in US English:

by heart

phrase

  • From memory.

    • ‘In the light of the furnace flame, one of the men got up and started to recite the biblical passages by heart.’
    • ‘They know all the answers here by heart and repeat them with all the thought of a parrot.’
    • ‘He read all the books and I do mean all and could recite large passages of film dialogue by heart.’
    • ‘One still hears tales of settlers who cleared the bush while reciting Shakespeare and Shelley by heart.’
    • ‘Only 25, he has already notched up more than 40 performances, and knows it pretty much by heart.’
    • ‘When he first entered Parliament he learnt his speeches by heart.’
    • ‘Poems and plays only come fully to life when they are spoken, from the heart, by heart.’
    • ‘Once there they are said to have to learn by heart a great deal of poetry; indeed many stay on in training for twenty years.’
    • ‘Everybody in the country, from kindergarten children to retirees, learned the plays by heart.’
    • ‘I was little, tiny, and I as soon as I knew the words by heart I would repeat them in a rhythmic mantra until I fell asleep.’
    from memory, off pat, by rote, off by heart, word for word, verbatim, parrot-fashion, word-perfect
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