Definition of heart noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary




part of body

1 [countable] the organ in the chest that sends blood around the body, usually on the left in humansThe patient's heart stopped beating for a few seconds.heart trouble/failure/diseaseto have a weak heartI could feel my heart pounding in my chest (= because of excitement etc.). see also open-heart surgery2 [countable] (literary) the outside part of the chest where the heart isShe clasped the photo to her heart.


3 [countable] the place in a person where the feelings and emotions are thought to be, especially those connected with loveShe has a kind heart.Have you no heart?He returned with a heavy heart (= sad).Her novels tend to deal with affairs of the heart.The story captured the hearts and minds of a generation. see also broken heart


4 (in adjectives) having the type of character or personality mentionedcold-heartedkind-hearted

important part

5 [singular] heart (of something) the most important part of something synonym cruxthe heart of the matter/problemThe committee's report went to the heart of the government's dilemma.The distinction between right and wrong lies at the heart of all questions of morality.


6 [countable, usually singular] heart (of something) the part that is in the center of somethinga quiet hotel in the very heart of the city

of cabbage

7 [countable] the smaller leaves in the middle of a cabbage, lettuce, etc.


8 [countable] a thing shaped like a heart, often red and used as a symbol of love; a symbol shaped like a heart used to mean the verb “love”The words “I love you” were written inside a big red heart.(informal)I ♥ New York.

in card games

9 hearts [plural] one of the four sets of cards (called suits) in a deck of cards, with red heart symbols on themthe queen of heartsHearts are trumps.10 [countable] one card from the set of heartsWho played that heart?

absence makes the heart grow fonder

(saying) used to say that when you are away from someone that you love, you love them even moreabsence makes the heart grow fonder

at heart

used to say what someone is really like even though they may seem to be something different
He's still a socialist at heart

be etched on your heart/memory/mind

if something is etched on your memory, you remember it because it has made a strong impression on you
be etched on your heart/mindbe etched on your memory/mind

break someone's heart

to make someone feel very unhappy
She broke his heart when she called off the engagement.It breaks my heart to see you like this.break heart

by heart

using only your memory
I've dialed the number so many times I know it by heart

close/dear/near to someone's heart

having a lot of importance and interest for someone
close/near to heartdear/near to heart

cross my heart (and hope to die)

(informal) used to emphasize that you are telling the truth or will do what you promiseI saw him do it—cross my heart.cross my heartcross my heart and hope to die

eat your heart out (for someone/something)

to feel very unhappy, especially because you want someone or something you cannot have
I'm not going to mope at home, eating my heart out for some your heart outeat your heart out for

find it in your heart/yourself to do something

to be able or willing to do something
Can you find it in your heart to forgive her?He couldn't find it in himself to trust anyone again.find it in your heart to dofind it in your yourself to do

from the (bottom of your) heart

in a way that is sincere
I beg you, from the bottom of my heart, to spare his life.It was clearly an offer that came from the heart.from the heartfrom the bottom of your heart

give someone heart

to make someone feel positive, especially when they thought that they had no chance of achieving something
give heart

give your heart to someone

to give your love to one person
give your heart to

have a heart!

(informal) used to ask someone to be kind and/or reasonableHave a heart! I've nowhere else to stay!have a heart!

have a heart of gold

to be a very kind person
have a heart of gold

have a heart of stone

to be a person who does not show others sympathy
have a heart of stone

have someone's interests at heart

to want someone to be happy and successful even though your actions may not show this
have interests at heart

heart and soul

with a lot of energy and enthusiasm
They threw themselves heart and soul into the project.heart and soul

my heart bleeds (for someone)

(ironic) used to say that you do not feel sympathy for someone“I have to go to Brazil on business.” “My heart bleeds for you!”my heart bleedsmy heart bleeds for

your heart goes out to someone

used to say that you feel a lot of sympathy for someone
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims.your heart goes out to

someone's heart is in their mouth

someone feels nervous or frightened about something
My heart was in my mouth as she opened the envelope.heart is in their mouth

someone's heart is in the right place

used to say that someone's intentions are kind and sincere even though they sometimes do the wrong thing
heart is in the right place

your heart is not in something

used to say that you are not very interested in or enthusiastic about something
your heart is not in

someone's heart leaps

used to say that someone has a sudden feeling of happiness or excitement
My heart leapt at the news.heart leaps

someone's heart sinks

used to say that someone suddenly feels sad or depressed about something
My heart sank when I saw how much work there was left.She watched him go with a sinking heart.heart sinks

someone's heart skips a beat

used to say that someone has a sudden feeling of fear, excitement, etc.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw who it was.heart skips a beat

home is where the heart is

(saying) a home is where the people you love arehome is where the heart is

in your heart (of hearts)

if you know something in your heart, you have a strong feeling that it is true
She knew in her heart of hearts that she was making the wrong your heartin your heart of hearts

it does someone's heart good (to do something)

it makes someone feel happy when they see or hear something
It does my heart good to see the old place being taken care of so does heart goodit does heart good to do

let your heart rule your head

to act according to what you feel rather than to what you think is sensible
let your heart rule your head

lose heart

to stop hoping for something or trying to do something because you no longer feel confident
lose heart

lose your heart (to someone/something)

(formal) to fall in love with someone or somethinglose your heartlose your heart to

a man/woman after your own heart

a man/woman who likes the same things or has the same opinions as you
a man after your own hearta woman after your own heart

not have the heart (to do something)

to be unable to do something because you know that it will make someone sad or upset
not have the heartnot have the heart to do

out of the goodness of your heart

from feelings of kindness, without thinking about what advantage there will be for you
You're not telling me he offered to lend you the money out of the goodness of his heart?out of the goodness of your heart

pour out/open your heart to someone

to tell someone all your problems, feelings, etc.
pour out your heart topour open your heart to

set your heart on something


have your heart set on something

to want something very much
They've set their heart on a house in the country.set your heart on

sick at heart

(formal) very unhappy or disappointedsick at heart

steal someone's heart

(literary) to make someone fall in love with yousteal heart

strike fear, etc. into someone/sb's heart

(formal) to make someone be afraid, etc.strike fear, etc. into heart

take heart (from something)

to feel more positive about something, especially when you thought that you had no chance of achieving something
The government can take heart from the latest opinion polls.take hearttake heart from

take something to heart

to be very upset by something that someone says or does
You shouldn't take everything he says to heart.take to heart

tear at your heart


tear your heart out

(formal) to strongly affect you in an emotional waytear at your heart

tear/rip the heart out of something

to destroy the most important part or aspect of something
Closing the factory tore the heart out of the community.tear the heart out ofrip the heart out of

to your heart's content

as much as you want
a supervised play area where children can run around to their heart's contentto your heart's content

the way to someone's heart

the way to make someone like or love you
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach (= by giving him good food).the way to heart

wear your heart on your sleeve

to allow your feelings to be seen by other people
He's not one to wear his heart on his sleeve.wear your heart on your sleeve

win someone's heart

to make someone love you
win heart

with all your heart/your whole heart

I hope with all my heart that things work out for you.with all your heart whole heartwith all your your whole heart

young at heart

thinking and behaving like a young person even when you are old
My father is 76 but he's still young at heart.young at heart