Definition of heart in English:



  • 1A hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation. In vertebrates there may be up to four chambers (as in humans), with two atria and two ventricles.

    • ‘It is increased in failing human hearts and contributes to the loss of the heart's contractile strength during the development of heart failure.’
    • ‘The valve that controls blood flow between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta.’
    • ‘It tends to be a forgotten transplant, I think most people tend to think of organ transplants like hearts and kidneys etc.’
    • ‘For example, there is a shortage of replacement organs such as hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers, etc.’
    • ‘Heart disease is a term used to refer to diseases of the heart and blood vessel system.’
    • ‘Eventually these embryos succumbed due to the lack of correct blood flow with two hearts pumping into the same set of blood vessels.’
    • ‘The right side of the heart pumps blood from the body back to the lungs to be reoxygenated.’
    • ‘Whilst there is breath in our lungs and blood pumping in our hearts there is hope!’
    • ‘Researchers have been working for some time on ways to enable kidneys, hearts, and other organs from pigs to be transplanted to humans, as a way of overcoming the chronic shortage of human donor organs.’
    • ‘Here's a look at how your heart works to pump blood and vital nutrients throughout your body.’
    • ‘Right heart failure affects the side of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs.’
    • ‘The Holy Grail is actually growing an organ, because people need livers, they need hearts, they need pancreases; how far down the track is that?’
    • ‘Systolic pressure is the amount of pressure when the heart pumps blood into the arteries.’
    • ‘The ejection fraction is a measure of the ability of the heart to pump blood.’
    • ‘All the patients in this study had hearts that could not pump blood properly.’
    • ‘It simply means that your heart isn't pumping blood through the body as well as it should.’
    • ‘A murmur is the sound of blood being pumped through the heart's chambers and valves.’
    • ‘Instead it is when the heart cannot pump blood around the body efficiently.’
    • ‘The device has a tube entering the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber.’
    • ‘It rises to a peak, called the systolic pressure, at the height of the contraction of each heartbeat as the heart pumps blood out.’
    1. 1.1The region of the chest above the heart.
      ‘holding hand on heart for the Pledge of Allegiance’
      • ‘His eyes locked on solider above his bed and the blade poised above his heart.’
      • ‘Men remove their baseball caps, clamping hands on hearts and swelling their chests with pride.’
      • ‘Relatives greet each other with a gentle hug and a kiss on the left shoulder above the heart.’
      • ‘I gripped the handle of the dagger in both hands, and positioned it in the air above my heart.’
      • ‘It was a thin pearl-colored gown that went down to my ankles and cut off somewhere above my heart.’
      • ‘Shy, he smiled and put his hand over his heart in the ancient Central Asian manner.’
      • ‘His knife was gleaming just above her heart, his hands poised to make the fatal move.’
      • ‘O'Meara wears the bullet around his neck, letting it dangle above his heart.’
    2. 1.2The heart regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion.
      ‘hardening his heart, he ignored her entreaties’
      ‘he poured out his heart to me’
      [mass noun] ‘he has no heart’
      • ‘And I believe we must match our compassionate hearts to our preservative minds.’
      • ‘I assume, since you've chosen to look after this pet, that you have in your heart some compassion.’
      • ‘I thank you also from my heart for the love you gave her during her life and the honor you now give her in death.’
      • ‘We depend on donations from loving hearts and caring hearts.’
      • ‘The passion in this film would swell the heart and emotions of the least romantic.’
      • ‘There are so few people in the world who have a kind heart and love for life and Will seems to have both.’
      • ‘Let me go through this day with love in my heart, a sense of humor and a positive attitude.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's just something in the Autumn air, egging us on to do what our hearts love, what our minds desire.’
      • ‘There's a lot of love in my heart for several of your local booty-shakers.’
      • ‘It is as good for your heart to write love letters as it is to receive them.’
      • ‘Our minds are to be as fully yielded to God and as actively engaged in loving Him as our hearts and souls are.’
      • ‘Have a compassionate heart that creates a little space for those who need a bit of understanding or forgiveness.’
      • ‘Through His life, Jesus revealed the true heart and amazing compassion of God.’
      • ‘He was a boy who was full of life, energy, love and a big heart for many people whom he had met only a few times.’
      • ‘You love to pour your heart and your art into making gifts with a personal punch.’
      • ‘Sometimes it isn't easy, trust me, sometimes I get very upset but in the final analysis it isn't her heart, it isn't love it is just sex.’
      • ‘Well-produced digital media gives us the chance to love God with our hearts and souls as well as our minds.’
      • ‘We are real people with hearts that love, minds that think and souls that are as pure as any man's!’
      • ‘He measures by the cost to the individual, the motive of the heart, and the love involved.’
      • ‘This fear is what keeps me from loving and receiving the love my heart has longed for since birth.’
      emotions, feelings, sentiments, soul, mind, bosom, breast
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3One's mood or feeling.
      ‘they had a change of heart’
      • ‘In examining these estimates, we note that this economy is in good heart.’
      • ‘Whoever their opponents, York will enter the fray in good heart after a weekend double over West Leeds of Yorkshire Two.’
      • ‘She's clearly in good heart and can be backed on her next couple of runs.’
      • ‘The five-year-old is unbeaten in two outings on the Polytrack surface and is trained by a man who has had his horses in good heart all winter.’
      • ‘He performed strongly at the final prime minister's questions, sending his troops off in good heart.’
      • ‘She has since had a change of heart following media interest in her role.’
      • ‘The visitors resumed in good heart and their front five dominated in set pieces.’
      • ‘On the basis that he is in good heart and likes running around the County Tipperary racecourse he is put forward to win again.’
      • ‘It was all in good heart and we had a laugh over it but she never trusted me after that.’
      • ‘The ride home at night put all in good heart and the Secretary reports that they feel as if a very good start has been made for the season.’
      • ‘Now he's moving on himself - but leaving behind a station in good heart and with a sound future.’
      • ‘However both will go in good heart, eyeing up a shock or at least a replay back home.’
      • ‘Airedale Hospital is in good heart after it unveiled a vital new piece of equipment for local cardiac patients.’
      • ‘So they would have travelled to Barnet in good heart to play another former Conference side who had lost their opening three matches.’
      • ‘We all move into the final phase of the campaign in good heart and cautiously confident of victory.’
      • ‘Wanderers want to forget the Villa disappointment and go into the Fulham game in good heart.’
      • ‘It has now had a change of heart, no doubt scared of losing customers and face had it welshed on the deal, and says it will stick to the original quote.’
      • ‘Honey crop is taken once a year preferably, if bees are to be kept in good heart.’
      • ‘So that makes Costello's seeming change of heart on interest rates all the more damning.’
      • ‘The club is in good heart with a number of new players vying for places.’
      compassion, sympathy, humanity, fellow feeling, concern for others, brotherly love, tender feelings, tenderness, empathy, understanding
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Courage or enthusiasm.
      ‘they may lose heart as the work mounts up’
      ‘Mary took heart from the encouragement handed out’
      ‘I put my heart and soul into it and then got fired’
      • ‘Erratic, uneven and hyperactive it may be, but this is home-made film-making with heart and soul.’
      • ‘He took heart that Labour did not need to introduce any affirmative action for this election.’
      • ‘Unionists took heart from Mr Adams' comment that his party wanted to ensure the poll took place in the best atmosphere.’
      • ‘Abandoning pretty pictures, car chases and clichés is something to be applauded if it means films made with heart and soul.’
      • ‘Their electronics, guitars, heart and soul have also made them one of the most influential bands of all time.’
      • ‘He lives and breathes pantomime and every year puts heart and soul into his productions.’
      • ‘At first Stiles took heart; the film was good, she was proud of everybody's work and knew that some day people would get to see it.’
      • ‘However captain Richard Roberts took heart from his squad's performance.’
      • ‘Carrisi has a high and powerful voice and sings with a lot of heart and soul.’
      • ‘Glenflesk though obviously disappointed can take heart from the display of a relatively young side.’
      • ‘Our hope is that our songs are strong enough to be covered or played different ways and still retain heart and soul.’
      • ‘Southern Ontario's underground rock scene discovered some local history and took heart.’
      • ‘The Thai fought with heart and desire but that will very seldom beat speed, experience and power.’
      • ‘Arciris concluded her talk by urging young and old not to be complacent and to take heart.’
      • ‘Tyrone took heart from the miss and finished as strongly as they started.’
      • ‘She took heart from the performance of the winner of her event in Sydney.’
      • ‘I took heart from this Easter post by Rebecca on the resurrection of Jesus.’
      • ‘I took heart from Dr Duke's belief that the smarter you are, the harder it is to solve.’
      • ‘I wanted heart and passion from the players at half-time and they certainly displayed that’
      • ‘Both had given heart and soul and a lot more besides to win the match and yet one was the victor and the other vanquished.’
      enthusiasm, keenness, eagerness, spirit, determination, resolution, resolve, purpose, courage, backbone, spine, nerve, stomach, will, will power, fortitude, bravery, stout-heartedness
      wholeheartedly, enthusiastically, eagerly, zealously, unreservedly, absolutely, thoroughly, completely, entirely, fully, totally, utterly, body and soul, to the hilt, with open arms, one hundred per cent, all the way
      View synonyms
  • 2The central or innermost part of something.

    ‘right in the heart of the city’
    • ‘Each of these shows will play in the heart of Cork City to about 3,000 people.’
    • ‘Modern viticulture Uzbekistan is in the very heart of central Asia, on the same latitude as Italy.’
    • ‘I'm referring to London Court situated in the heart of the city in the Hay Street Mall.’
    • ‘In the heart of the vast central square of the place she caught sight of a recognizable object.’
    • ‘But some of the barracks to which the armed men would return under the new order are located in the heart of the city.’
    • ‘The Vaal rises in the central heart of South Africa and debouches many hundreds of miles later into the Atlantic Ocean.’
    • ‘It is a central location in the heart of Saskatoon and it should be pretty easy to get to.’
    • ‘The historic heart of the city is centrally situated on the northwest axis, and towards the eastern border.’
    • ‘We were standing on the roof of Mushtaq's school in Aminabad, the oldest quarter of the city and the heart of old Lucknow.’
    • ‘A stunning garden at the heart of the city's European Flower Festival stopped workers and shoppers in their tracks.’
    • ‘The Pavilion will be built in Victoria Square in the heart of the city.’
    • ‘A retail developer that breathed new life into a road that was once the heart of a city has won a major award for the pioneering scheme.’
    • ‘The answer is Pirates for Peace, a radio station for young people based at the Albert Basin in the heart of the city.’
    • ‘Deep in the heart of Central India there is a wild forest surrounded by sheer 1,200 feet high cliffs.’
    • ‘An immense barrier through the heart of the city, the connector ends at the parking garage.’
    • ‘In the heart of the central medallion is an eight-petalled flower symbolizing the centre of the universe.’
    • ‘The old heart of the city is earmarked for major regeneration.’
    • ‘Police raids along Katondo street in the heart of the capital city, Lusaka, are not new.’
    • ‘The national capital is Mexico City, situated in the heart of central Mexico.’
    • ‘Rabat and Sale were the twin cities at the heart of this Republic.’
    centre, central part, middle, hub, core, nucleus, kernel, eye, bosom, navel
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1The vital part or essence.
      ‘the heart of the matter’
      • ‘Either way, she just doesn't grasp the core principle at the heart of this entire matter.’
      • ‘The argument over assimilation versus separation is at the heart of the matter.’
      • ‘This is the real heart of the matter - to what extent do resources have to be accompanied by reform?’
      • ‘The vital service is at the heart of the work of The Carers' Resource and will now have to be withdrawn.’
      • ‘Decentralization becomes an ideology only when we allow it to be, but the heart of the matter is how to manage changes.’
      • ‘This is the root of the fundamental dishonesty at the heart of the euro debate.’
      • ‘It is not an image which instils much confidence in the future success of the vital relationship at the heart of government.’
      • ‘Why is centralized strategic planning the heart of integrated marketing communications?’
      • ‘I also love the American late night chat show hosts and their ability to be able to cut to the chase and go to the heart of the matter with their politicians.’
      • ‘There is now a central paradox at the heart of political life.’
      • ‘In the early twenties the heart of activity on Central Avenue was around Ninth Street.’
      • ‘Trust is not only at the heart of leadership but forms the essence of all relationships.’
      • ‘Between the two of them they get to the heart of the matter: brand awareness.’
      • ‘This could be pioneered in Scotland and patients' rights placed at the heart of the matter.’
      • ‘At its heart is a fundamental disagreement about how best to provide the highest quality and most efficient healthcare to Scots.’
      • ‘The album manages to capture the essence and heart of the psalm beautifully.’
      • ‘Several columnists for mainstream daily newspapers cut to the heart of the matter.’
      • ‘It is this second arrow that really goes to the heart of the matter.’
      • ‘At no stage was there any conversation of substance about the heart of the matter: what is the purpose of criminal justice.’
      • ‘The Executive's proposals are at the heart of a fundamental review of NHS dental services in Scotland.’
      essence, quintessence, crux, core, nub, root, gist, meat, marrow, pith, substance, sum and substance, essential part, intrinsic nature, kernel, nucleus
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2The close compact center of a head of a cabbage or lettuce.
      • ‘When I reached into the neat row of hearts of Romaine lettuce, I felt a shock shoot up from the tip of my finger, through my arm, right through my shoulder.’
      • ‘Others win because they simply save a lot of time: beans, roasted red peppers, roasted green chilies, and artichoke hearts and bottoms.’
      • ‘When most of the tomato juice is heated away, add the artichoke hearts.’
      • ‘Put in the artichoke hearts chopped roughly and add salt, pepper and sugar.’
  • 3A conventional representation of a heart with two equal curves meeting at a point at the bottom and a cusp at the top.

    • ‘The day associated with tacky red hearts, cards, chocolates and flowers also has a spiritual root that is being explored by the Newbridge parish.’
    • ‘From her ears now hung two earrings with stylized garnet hearts at the bottom of them.’
    • ‘She looked down and noticed that she was wearing her pajamas; a purple t-shirt and a pair of white pajama bottoms with hearts on them.’
    • ‘The last thing you find is a pair of earrings that have hearts dangling at the bottom.’
    • ‘The Mohegan Sun wedding cake is vanilla flavored and decorated with bows and hearts.’
    • ‘Montanans have used a wide variety of artistic brands - from hearts and crosses and dots and triangles to circles and half moons, even swastikas.’
    1. 3.1One of the four suits in a conventional deck of playing cards, denoted by a red heart.
      • ‘For example, a ten of hearts, jack of diamonds, queen of clubs, and king of hearts is a keeper over a pair of 10s.’
      • ‘There is no ranking between the suits - so for example the king of hearts and the king of spades are equal.’
      • ‘That is, you can only bid hearts on hearts, clubs on clubs etc.’
      • ‘Lots of low spades are usually good but can win lots of hearts.’
      • ‘The classic order of suits is hearts above diamonds, and spades above clubs.’
      • ‘This straight can be of mixed suits, for example: 2 of diamonds, 3 of clubs, 4 of spades, 5 of hearts.’
      • ‘If anyone gets the 2 of hearts dealt up, he has automatically won.’
      • ‘For example, playing the queen of hearts indicates to your partner that you have a strong diamonds.’
      • ‘Saving both spades worked out very well for Ann because Bill saved spades rather than hearts.’
      • ‘To collect the king-queen stake you have to play the queen and king of hearts consecutively.’
      • ‘All of the hearts go on hearts and clubs go on clubs and so on.’
      • ‘Diamonds are highest, followed by clubs, then spades, then hearts.’
      • ‘Thus, if the first card played is the eight of hearts, the next player may play any eight, or he may play the seven or nine of hearts.’
      • ‘A Courage card's courage is represented by its face value (i.e. a seven of hearts has a courage of seven) or fifteen if it is a face card.’
      • ‘The owner said they were arguing about which way the queen of hearts looks in a pack of cards.’
      • ‘There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs); however, no suit is higher than another.’
      • ‘Before the set, the two and three of spades and the two and three of hearts should be removed from the deck.’
      • ‘For every trick that is taken, ten points are awarded, provided that it contains no hearts.’
      • ‘Next, blindly and randomly remove from each deck six clubs and six hearts.’
      • ‘It can be played to a heart lead and if it is led, hearts must be followed.’
    2. 3.2A playing card of the suit of hearts.
      • ‘A face card and a heart are removed and the twenty remaining cards are dealt out.’
    3. 3.3A card game similar to whist, in which players attempt to avoid taking tricks containing a card of the suit of hearts.
      • ‘Suggestions from players of the game are that you should play the game like hearts, and others say you should play as normal whist, however both ideas have obvious problems.’
      • ‘People have worked out five-suit versions of other card games, including spades, bridge, hearts, and various types of solitaire.’
      • ‘Clara told me, a little embarrassed, after they'd retired to her father's study for a round of hearts, bridge, backgammon or some other card game.’
      • ‘I like games like hearts where each heart card just counts a point.’
      • ‘However, instead of passing cards as in normal hearts, each player places three of the cards in his/her hand face down in the center of the table.’
  • 4[usually with modifier] The condition of agricultural land as regards fertility.


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Like very much; love.

    ‘I totally heart this song’
    • ‘She is amazing and I heart her to the nth degree.’
    • ‘Thanks for all the reviews I heart you guys mucho!’


  • after one's own heart

    • Of the type that one likes or understands best; sharing one's tastes.

      ‘this is a man after my own heart’
      • ‘Now there's a man after my own heart, if not my age!’
      • ‘A man after my own heart, he still hand-codes his site for each entry, nesting tables within tables and thumbing his nose at structured data.’
      • ‘A man after my own heart, Kaplan did his elective year in the Seychelles.’
      • ‘A class full of non-morning people is a class after my own heart, except of course for the times I have to teach them in the morning.’
      • ‘Rachael is a girl after my own heart - she chooses to take lunch at the organic Elderberry Pond Farm where the burgers look amazing.’
      • ‘A woman after your own heart, she and her sugar lust need to be indulged.’
      • ‘Indeed, he seems to have been a a man after my own heart.’
      • ‘Here are people after my own heart, who love the great GKC and who incarnate his odd funky hilarious and sensible spirit better than anybody I know.’
      • ‘It was that last detail - the piles of books pushed aside to make room to eat - that sent me in search of all of David's writings; I knew that here was a food writer after my own heart, stomach, and mind.’
      • ‘So it was with great excitement (I don't get out much) then that I found a Web site after my own heart.’
      like-minded, of the same mind, similar to oneself, kindred, compatible, congenial, sharing one's tastes
      to one's liking, of the kind that one likes, attractive to one, desirable, attractive, appealing, pleasing
      on the same wavelength
      View synonyms
  • at heart

    • In one's real nature, in contrast to how one may appear.

      ‘he's a good guy at heart’
      • ‘We're all little kids at heart and yet the place has the ability to make people build very hard exteriors and ruin lives.’
      • ‘It's full of non-stop action, laughter, drama and is perfect for the very young and young at heart.’
      • ‘Inspiring to have a parent who's managed to develop wisdom but still stay as young at heart as they were when I was tiny.’
      • ‘The truth is, I am a hopeless romantic at heart and nothing will change that.’
      • ‘He was a kind and gentle man who remained young at heart to the end.’
      • ‘I started churches using these paradigms but it was never really who I was at heart.’
      • ‘He enjoys his job and finds it a challenge but we are home birds at heart and enjoy spending all our time with each other and the children.’
      • ‘The event promises to be fun for the whole family for the young and for those who are still children at heart.’
      • ‘A time when audiences full of the young and young at heart can embrace their innocence and enjoy the magic of theatre.’
      • ‘He was a strong and rugged elf who could often appear aggressive, but was truly kind and noble at heart.’
      basically, fundamentally, essentially, at bottom, deep down, in essence, intrinsically, innately
      really, actually, truly, in fact, in truth
      au fond
      when you get right down to it
      View synonyms
  • break someone's heart

    • Overwhelm someone with sadness.

      • ‘She was just absolutely hysterically funny in parts and then she broke your heart in other parts.’
      • ‘It breaks my heart to see him look so confused and upset.’
      • ‘It breaks your heart - it absolutely breaks your heart.’
      • ‘He hated to upset her, it broke his heart to see her cry.’
      • ‘But his stories still roar, they still frighten, they still overwhelm, they still break your heart, and they still make you want to grab the person next to you and hold on.’
      • ‘And that enough saddened me and broke my heart because I know what those families are going through.’
      • ‘When he finishes, her sadness descends so quickly, it nearly breaks his heart.’
      • ‘Riley was a mess, she had reason to be, but she was so upset, it just broke my heart to see her like that.’
      • ‘‘He loves his mum, he loves his family and it breaks his heart to realise he has caused them considerable distress over the years,’ added Mr Pickles.’
      • ‘Last year, I spent the night being depressed because the ex broke my heart.’
      make sad, sadden, make unhappy, cast down, get down, make gloomy, make despondent, dispirit
      View synonyms
  • by heart

    • From memory.

      • ‘Everybody in the country, from kindergarten children to retirees, learned the plays by heart.’
      • ‘He read all the books and I do mean all and could recite large passages of film dialogue by heart.’
      • ‘In the light of the furnace flame, one of the men got up and started to recite the biblical passages 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.’
      • ‘Poems and plays only come fully to life when they are spoken, from the heart, by heart.’
      • ‘They know all the answers here by heart and repeat them with all the thought of a parrot.’
      • ‘Only 25, he has already notched up more than 40 performances, and knows it pretty much by heart.’
      • ‘One still hears tales of settlers who cleared the bush while reciting Shakespeare and Shelley 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.’
      • ‘When he first entered Parliament he learnt his speeches by heart.’
      from memory, off pat, by rote, off by heart, word for word, verbatim, parrot-fashion, word-perfect
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  • close (or dear) to (or near) one's heart

    • Of deep interest and concern to one.

      • ‘The site was particularly close to his heart, as it was while fishing and swimming in the Wandle area that he developed his environmental enthusiasm.’
      • ‘Of all Joe's stories to date, this series has been particularly dear to my heart, and these two new episodes are among his very best.’
      • ‘Yet in all his pursuits, he kept the people's interest close to his heart and raised voice in the legislature as well as outside.’
      • ‘I do not know when and why a particular place becomes dear to one's heart.’
      • ‘He took a keen interest in current affairs and never shirked a challenge when it came to debating things of political interest that were close to his heart.’
      • ‘The land was close to his heart as were the people who were rooted in the soil and the psyche of the rural heartlands.’
      • ‘I probably shouldn't be describing anything by founding fathers of punk as a darling perfect little gem of a song you just want to keep close to your heart and love and cherish forever, but it really just is.’
      • ‘There's a small… shrine… I suppose, to a few precious items that are dear to my heart.’
      • ‘However, this was particularly close to my heart.’
      • ‘It's rather that the issue is so near and dear to my heart that I've been mulling what I think and considering the pros and cons of Peter's argument.’
  • from the (bottom of one's) heart

    • With sincere feeling.

      ‘their warmth and hospitality is right from the heart’
      • ‘Many donations come without addresses, so I can't even send thank you letters, but I do thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.’
      • ‘And she genuinely, from the bottom of her heart, gave herself.’
      • ‘‘I want to sincerely thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,’ he said.’
      • ‘I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart, and I will try to keep my ego in check.’
      • ‘Acting is one thing that has to come from the bottom of one's heart and it should come spontaneously.’
      • ‘‘I want to express my appreciation from the bottom of my heart,’ says the sister of one of the hostages, bowing and crying.’
      • ‘Mother smiled and it was a genuine smile, right from the bottom of her heart.’
      • ‘I mean them all from the bottom of my heart and have never said anything as sincere.’
      • ‘I will therefore offer a simple yet most sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
      • ‘I am really very, truly from the bottom of my heart, sorry for the gossip I have spread.’
      sincerely, with all one's heart, earnestly, fervently, passionately, truly, truthfully, genuinely, devoutly, heartily, heart and soul, with all sincerity
      View synonyms
  • give (or lose) one's heart to

    • Fall in love with.

      • ‘In between all of that, I met another fantastic man, who, I could have… and in many ways did give my heart to.’
      • ‘A lord intends to force his sister to wed a rich man she does not love to save the family fortunes - while she has lost her heart to her brother's sworn enemy.’
      • ‘But she has lost her heart to this man and is determined that love will win the day.’
      • ‘You have to allow your mind to rest and trust the one you have chosen to give your heart to.’
      • ‘You may not be on the serious stage of the relationship business, but you've got to be serious on whom to give your heart to.’
      • ‘I'm sure Sandy and I stayed in the pool for a while after, just lying there uncomfortably together - both knowing it was probably the last time. The first girl in my life I ever truly gave my heart to, had torn it out and danced the Madison on it.’
      • ‘It was the guy she gave her heart to and never took back.’
      • ‘I'm just more careful about who I give my heart to now.’
      • ‘Our thoughts were turning lightly toward love and we were losing our heart to the boy/girl next door.’
      • ‘She loved him and now that he loved her, she wasn't sure if she could give her heart to him.’
      fall in love with, fall for, become infatuated with, be smitten by
      fall head over heels for, be swept off one's feet by, develop a crush on
      View synonyms
  • have a heart

    • [often in imperative]Be merciful; show pity.

      • ‘They've given over a million dollars through our services to the evacuees there and so they have a heart.’
      • ‘Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage.’
      • ‘You may not have a heart, but your bank balance can bleed too.’
      • ‘I have a heart for the underdog, and I will do everything in my power to help them succeed as models.’
      • ‘People from outside saw that we're not just ‘as tough as nails’ but have a heart.’
      • ‘And while you may well have a brain, you most certainly don't have a heart.’
      • ‘However, if you see me sniffing forlornly tomorrow morning on the Northern Line, have a heart, eh?’
      • ‘Ideally, you should be bold and tell him face to face, but have a heart and do it when you two are alone.’
      • ‘The love and affection lavished on her made very good photographs and showed that India did have a heart.’
      • ‘This is a spoiled-rotten kid who doesn't have a clue - who doesn't have a heart!’
      be compassionate, be kind, be merciful, be lenient, be sympathetic, be considerate, take pity, have mercy
      View synonyms
  • have a heart of gold

    • Have a generous nature.

      • ‘Contrary to public opinion - and he probably won't thank me for saying it - this man has a heart of gold.’
      • ‘Jenn's one tough cookie but she has a heart of gold.’
      • ‘Maybe it's to do with part of her ‘stuff and nonsense’ approach and that, whilst sometimes misguided, she has a heart of gold.’
      • ‘The event was very well-attended, with Bangaloreans proving, yet again, that the city has a heart of gold.’
      • ‘You're not too quick on the uptake, but you have a heart of gold.’
      • ‘The bully boy stores up power, as it were: the power to disarm by turning out to have a heart of gold after all.’
      • ‘Micheál was described by his family this week as having a heart of gold, a boy who displayed a kindness and consideration for others that touched the lives of all those who met him.’
      • ‘He may have a heart of gold, but no one appreciates it.’
      • ‘Now's the chance to show our charities that we have a heart of gold.’
      • ‘She always puts others before herself, she has a heart of gold.’
  • have the heart to do something

    • [usually with negative]Be insensitive or hard-hearted enough to do something.

      ‘I don't have the heart to tell her’
      • ‘This is part of what I mean by no one having the heart to tell him.’
      • ‘I didn't have the heart to tell them that the kids today who want hard core, intense music don't listen to rock.’
      • ‘Then, not having the heart to see more, I got on my bike and rode away.’
      • ‘But after so many years of heartache and fruitless searching, Claire did not have the heart to ring the number.’
      • ‘Nor do I have the heart to be suspicious of any of our customers.’
      • ‘I didn't have the heart to tell her that the rabbit's success had nothing to do with me: it had won solely on its merits as a rabbit.’
      • ‘But he looked devastated so I didn't have the heart to be too cross.’
      • ‘No-one has the heart to put him down, which is fair enough.’
      • ‘Then I remembered how our plans for some time together was interrupted last weekend and I didn't have the heart to try and back out of it.’
      • ‘He didn't have the heart to tell her she was thanking the wrong rabbi.’
  • have (or put) one's heart in

    • Be (or become) keenly involved in or committed to (an enterprise)

      • ‘To really succeed at something, you need to have your heart in it.’
      • ‘Perhaps, in part, I realize that my parents really did not have their heart in the beatings.’
      • ‘All I can say is that I feel very sorry for Dominic because he definitely had his heart in Livingston and Scottish football and he felt whatever he was doing, he was doing right.’
      • ‘It comes from wanting to do something and having your heart in it.’
      • ‘An exception would be when he did something like his ‘World of the Wizard King’ series, where you could see he really had his heart in the work.’
      • ‘When he did try to hype a fight, bad-mouthing an opponent, he never seemed to have his heart in it.’
      • ‘She felt bad for not really having her heart in the relationship anymore.’
      • ‘The players did not have their heart in the tournament essentially because of the timing of the competition and the choice of the venues.’
      • ‘How could I put my heart in words so basic, so concrete and cold?’
      • ‘To think I am doing all of this work and putting my heart in this and it won't mean a thing… is something I can't even stand to think about…’
  • have one's heart in one's mouth

    • Be greatly alarmed or apprehensive.

      • ‘Parreira, like other Brazilian fans, is sure to have his heart in his mouth when the shaky Brazilian defence is tested when his attacking full-backs and central midfielders are in the other half of the field.’
      • ‘It's been so long and did anyone else have their heart in their mouth at the way they tossed the little urn around?’
      • ‘I only thought about it the day before the game and had my heart in my mouth from then on.’
      • ‘He grins as he talks: ‘I couldn't watch the second half - I had my heart in my mouth for most of it and it was just nerve-wracking.’’
      • ‘Griffin had his heart in his mouth on 63 minutes after Simak and Franca made the most of Bramble's slip to force their way into the penalty area, the full-back diving in to drive the ball just wide of his own goal.’
      • ‘I always had my heart in my mouth because of the people out there saying and doing insensitive or hateful things.’
  • have one's heart in the right place

    • Be sincere or well intentioned.

      • ‘She is talented and intelligent, and outside of politics, seems to have her heart in the right place… It is petty partisan snipes like this that make us look bad.’
      • ‘The question to be answered now is: Which candidate has their heart in the right place?’
      • ‘Yet despite keeping such low company, Brennan appears to have his heart in the right place.’
      • ‘He does have his heart in the right place but has to accept that without considerable subsidies, airline travel to the islands will never be commercially viable.’
      • ‘And the beauty part, for the reader, is that no actual achievement, no objective superiority, is required: it's all a matter of having your heart in the right place.’
      • ‘As anyone who has ever recited the Pledge of Allegiance will attest, having your heart in the right place means having it on your left side.’
      • ‘Mr Manning, you appear to have your heart in the right place, but your advisers are misleading you.’
      • ‘By the same token, Rawkus had their heart in the right place.’
      • ‘The people who run Showtime really have their heart in the right place when it comes to exploring social issues other networks have refused to touch.’
      • ‘She still says dumb things, but I think she's crawling back toward God over a lot of broken glass and, despite some screws loose in her thinking, has her heart in the right place.’
  • heart of stone

    • A stern or cruel nature.

      • ‘Isn't it common knowledge that those having a heart of stone and tending to be self-centred are often blessed with a better life than those given to compassion and compliance with the morality and ethics?’
      • ‘‘You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by what the victims said today,’ he said.’
      • ‘You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh, wouldn't you?’
      • ‘Whatever your cynical prejudices, you would need a heart of stone to look at the childhood letters and family photos without feeling some sneaking sense of pathos.’
      • ‘You would need to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the news of the little boy from Down who was washed away as his mate tried to save him.’
      • ‘The complex network of mediaeval-style guilds who control British medicine are hurt by this in so many ways that, in the words of Oscar Wilde, ‘it would take a heart of stone not be amused’.’
      • ‘Only a man with a heart of stone could read ‘We celebrate our oneness with Akron, Summit County and beyond’ without laughing till his breath failed him.’
      • ‘You would have to have a heart of stone not to be weeping with laughter at that line.’
      • ‘In another sort of movie their love would hit the rocks, but in the end everything would come right - and you'd need a heart of stone not to be rooting for it to come right - because these people are made for each other.’
      • ‘Unless you're an absolutely minimalist modernist with a heart of stone, sooner or later you'll probably be tempted to add a daub of colour to your garden with some artfully positioned annuals.’
  • hearts and flowers

    • Used in allusion to extreme sentimentality.

      • ‘This is the signature of a hearts and flowers, knight in shining armor aspect.’
      • ‘As this show proves, the marriage of computers and art is not always about hearts and flowers.’
      • ‘Should it be hearts and flowers, a verse, modern and ‘cool’, cute bears, slightly naughty, innuendo, blatant cheek?’
      • ‘These days, I find that I waver between a desire for solitude and a desire to be part of a relationship - a choice between independence and simplicity, or hearts and flowers (well, OK, maybe not the flowers).’
      • ‘All may not be hearts and flowers in her version of domesticity, but neither is she making heavy-handed comments about drudgery.’
      • ‘Ben winced and Leo could tell his friend was hoping that the answer was going to be all hearts and flowers.’
      • ‘This week it's all hearts and flowers and flags.’
      • ‘You need romance, hearts and flowers, and lots of conversation to turn you on and keep you going.’
      • ‘Some people will always be interested in that, and some people will always be interested in hearts and flowers.’
      • ‘It's about hearts and minds instead of hearts and flowers, says Zwickey.’
      mawkish, over-sentimental, overemotional, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, sugar-coated, syrupy
      View synonyms
  • hearts and minds

    • Used in reference to emotional and intellectual support or commitment.

      ‘a campaign to win the hearts and minds of America's college students’
      • ‘Because there is little effort made by the progressive left to try and win the hearts and minds of these idealistic young people.’
      • ‘Although it is still not revelation enough to win over the hearts and minds of those jaded to reality TV or pop generally.’
      • ‘America and the West clearly won the war here, and they won so many hearts and minds.’
      • ‘The first discards any pretence of attempting to win hearts and minds, and any shred of moral decency.’
      • ‘Their strategy was to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Israelis.’
      • ‘Bombing crowds of young men applying for jobs is not an effective way to win hearts and minds.’
      • ‘American popular culture once again wins hearts and minds where the armed forces not always can.’
      • ‘It is music that transcends the man and wins the audience's hearts and minds.’
      • ‘In short, it has to include also an ideological struggle for winning the hearts and minds of Muslims.’
      • ‘If this is how the French think they can win hearts and minds in the war of ideas, they're making a big mistake.’
  • one's heart's desire

    • A person or thing that one greatly wishes for.

      • ‘So how do creative people make ends meet whilst doing their heart's desire?’
      • ‘You are closer to achieving your heart's desire as you move towards new business opportunities and wider horizons.’
      • ‘In fact, I'm becoming increasingly concerned that I might be missing out on my big chance to achieve my heart's desire just because I don't read the right magazines.’
      • ‘It's a tragedy in my book that students who achieve wonderful results are left disappointed and disillusioned simply because the points system denies them their heart's desire.’
      • ‘When my children were young I, too, wanted them to have their heart's desire for Christmas.’
      • ‘War gives them their liberty and sends them, like boys bounding out of school, to obtain their heart's desire or perish in the attempt.’
      • ‘The Lovers symbolizes a choice between duty versus your heart's desire, take a risk and it could lead to greater happiness and emotional fulfilment, stay dutiful and life will remain the same.’
      • ‘Feel its vital life force obliterating anger and irritation - flowing, shaping and creating your heart's desire.’
      • ‘With your meal, you can sup Chinese tea to your heart's desire.’
      • ‘Somehow, because I value his ideas more than any item, he never gets the feeling that I am rejecting his wishes or depriving him of his heart's desire.’
  • in one's heart of hearts

    • In one's inmost feelings.

      • ‘She backed it up by saying that maybe I secretly - in my heart of hearts - wanted to proclaim my love for Danny.’
      • ‘Well, in future, whenever he grants you a measly yearly pay rise, you will know in your heart of hearts that actually what he is doing is acknowledging your intellectual superiority.’
      • ‘And in your heart of hearts, you know what problems are.’
      • ‘Is it because, in their heart of hearts, the hardy Falklanders are themselves dreamers?’
      • ‘I mean, most people, maybe in their heart of hearts, don't think their child's coming home.’
      • ‘They had been stolen along with the box, and you know in your heart of hearts that the thief has probably just thrown them out of the car window.’
      • ‘Now, everybody mouths merely what's expected of them, rather than what lurks in their heart of hearts.’
      • ‘Now, in your heart of hearts, you'd like them to have all been impotent or jailed, but that's not life.’
      • ‘She was perfectly aware that Paul was glancing at her every few seconds, and in her heart of hearts, she was secretly pleased, though she didn't even raise her eyes from her writing and look back at him, even once.’
      • ‘Relatives may give you quizzical looks, and so may friends, but you know in your heart of hearts that you are following your inner voice.’
      inwardly, inside, internally, within, deep within, at heart, in one's mind, to oneself
      privately, secretly, confidentially
      View synonyms
  • take something to heart

    • Take criticism seriously and be affected or upset by it.

      • ‘But when you get older you realise there's no point in getting upset or taking it to heart when people are making comments about you.’
      • ‘It's easy to take the criticism to heart but that will put us further in the mire.’
      • ‘Through most of this period, I've tried to focus on taking the criticisms to heart - understanding the arguments, looking closely at the evidence, and trying to separate the wheat from the chaff.’
      • ‘Then I'll learn from their example and take their criticisms to heart.’
      • ‘I ended up taking the criticism to heart and worrying about what I'd heard all week.’
      • ‘I'm prepared to accept criticism and take it to heart if it's constructive.’
      • ‘So I really took her advice to heart and never criticized any of his speeches.’
      • ‘Rather than taking this criticism to heart - and perhaps even trying to do better - Sammy instead began pouting.’
      • ‘The Coast Guard took this criticism to heart and proposed two significant changes to its boat defect recall laws.’
      • ‘According to surveys by several executive compensation consultants, boards took the criticism to heart.’
  • to one's heart's content

    • To the full extent of one's desires.

      ‘the children could run and play to their heart's content’
  • wear one's heart on one's sleeve

    • Make one's feelings apparent.

      • ‘I know he wears his heart on his sleeve and I know he's a good manager.’
      • ‘I showed my feelings and wore my heart on my sleeve.’
      • ‘He carried a bunch of no-hopers for years; he is a terrific motivator; he takes no guff from authority; he told Sir Alex where to go and was proved right; and he was a great player who wore his heart on his sleeve.’
      • ‘Happily, events on the park were a fitting tribute to the man who always wore his heart on his sleeve and played with a passion too often absent from the modern game.’
      • ‘But this is a sparky and feisty player who wears his heart on his sleeve.’
      • ‘I think it's because he wears his heart on his sleeve and the emotion just pours out.’
      • ‘He is not pretentious in any way, he wears his heart on his sleeve and I think that projects to anyone listening to his music.’
      • ‘He always wore his heart on his sleeve and has done wonderfully well here.’
      • ‘The big Scot led from the front, making one goal and scoring the other, and generally wore his heart on his sleeve in an encounter that carried over several feuds from the first acrimonious meeting between the clubs in December.’
      • ‘He wears his heart on his sleeve and that's what we admire about him.’
  • with all one's heart (or one's whole heart)

    • Sincerely; completely.

      • ‘A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart.’
      • ‘They're faithful to a club and to a spirit, and if you can show them beauty and innovation, by playing with all your heart, they'll be healed.’
      • ‘But he cuts with all his heart and all his passion and gives these landscapes a new life and special meaning.’
      • ‘Their grief would be genuine, and felt with all their heart.’
      • ‘I've had so many doubts about my abilities, have them every day in fact, but all you can do is keep doing your best and keep loving them with your whole heart, I guess.’
      • ‘They had been getting to know each other and she had truly loved him with all her heart.’
      • ‘She lost the one she truly loves with all her heart.’
      • ‘I would get up with a smile on my face and do everything sincerely, with all my heart.’
      • ‘If you are able to identify that, educate and prepare yourself, and apply your talents to that with your whole heart, then I believe that is success.’
      • ‘Human beings were intended to love God with their whole heart, body, will and mind.’
      sincerely, with all one's heart, earnestly, fervently, passionately, truly, truthfully, genuinely, devoutly, heartily, heart and soul, with all sincerity
      View synonyms
  • with one's heart in one's boots

      • ‘The team left Alicante with their heart in their boots, knowing that an unforgettable period in their lives was behind them.’
      • ‘Gethryn hurried along the familiar streets with his heart in his boots sometimes, and sometimes in his mouth.’
      • ‘And, at the end of the day, you end up I think very much with your heart in your boots.’
      • ‘Worn on the sleeve, they are easily examined by the Inspector, though a dishonest smuggler has sometimes gone ashore with his heart in his boots.’


Old English heorte, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hart and German Herz, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin cor, cord- and Greek kēr, kardia.