- 1 [countable] the organ in the chest that sends blood around the body, usually on the left in humans The patient's heart stopped beating for a few seconds. heart trouble/failure to have a weak heart I could feel my heart pounding in my chest (= because of excitement, etc.). see also coronary, open-heart surgery See related entries: Internal anatomy
- 2 [countable] (literary) the outside part of the chest where the heart is She clasped the photo to her heart. feelings/emotions
- 3 [countable] the place in a person where the feelings and emotions are thought to be, especially those connected with love She 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 See related entries: Romance, Love -hearted
- 4(in adjectives) having the type of character or personality mentioned cold-hearted kind-hearted More Like This Compound adjectives for physical characteristics -beaked, -bellied, -billed, -blooded, -bodied, -cheeked, -chested, -eared, -eyed, -faced, -fingered, -footed, -haired, -handed, -headed, -hearted, -hipped, -lidded, -limbed, -mouthed, -necked, -nosed, -skinned, -tailed, -throated, -toothedSee worksheet. important part
- 5[singular] heart (of something) the most important part of something the heart of the matter/problem The 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. centre
- 6[countable, usually singular] heart (of something) the part that is in the centre of something a quiet hotel in the very heart of the city of cabbage
- 7[countable] the smaller leaves in the middle of a cabbage, lettuce, etc. shape
- 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, uncountable] one of the four sets of cards (called suits ) in a pack / deck of cards, with red heart symbols on them the queen of hearts Hearts is/are trumps. See related entries: Card games
- 10 [countable] one card from the set of hearts Who played that heart? Word Origin 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.Extra examples Finally, he broke down in tears and poured out his heart to her. He broke her heart. He committed himself heart and soul to the cause. He could have a change of heart and settle down to family life. He had no heart for arguing. He really puts his heart into his singing. He set off with a light heart. He smiled and her heart melted. Her heart isn’t in her job. Her heart leaped with joy. Her novels tend to deal with affairs of the heart Her words pierced my heart. His sad story touched her heart. I could tell he spoke from the heart. I wish you well with all my heart. In my heart, I knew it wasn’t true. Inside, his heart was slowly breaking. Just follow your heart and you’ll be happy. Let’s sing it one more time from the beginning—and put some heart into it! My heart aches when I think of their sorrow. Our hearts go out to= we sympathize deeply with the families of the victims. Relief filled his heart. The committee’s report went to the heart of the government’s dilemma. The heart pumps blood through the body. This brings us to the real heart of the matter. We live in the very heart of the city. With a heavy heart, she watched him go. a triple heart bypass operation everything your heart could desire open-heart surgery the issue at the heart of modern government to win the hearts and minds of the nation’s youth ‘Hillsdown’ is a quiet hotel in the very heart of the city. Cost is at the heart of the matter for the Government.Idioms (saying) used to say that when you are away from somebody that you love, you love them even more used to say what somebody is really like even though they may seem to be something different He's still a socialist at heart. if something is etched on your memory, you remember it because it has made a strong impression on you to make somebody feel very unhappy She broke his heart when she called off the engagement. It breaks my heart to see you like this. using only your memory I've dialled the number so many times I know it by heart. She's learnt the whole speech off by heart. if you have a change of heart, your attitude towards something changes, usually making you feel more friendly, helpful, etc. Dan did not want to get married but recently he’s had a change of heart. a change of heartrevolution having a lot of importance and interest for somebody (informal) used to emphasize that you are telling the truth or will do what you promise I saw him do it—cross my heart. (informal) used to compare two things and say that one of them is better Look at him dance! Eat your heart out, Fred Astaire (= he dances even better than Fred Astaire). (literary) 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. 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. to make somebody feel positive, especially when they thought that they had no chance of achieving something to give your love to one person (informal) used to ask somebody to be kind and/or reasonable Have a heart! I’ve nowhere else to stay! to be a very kind person See related entries: Kind to be a person who does not show others sympathy or pity to want somebody to be happy and successful even though your actions may not show this with a lot of energy and enthusiasm They threw themselves heart and soul into the project. (ironic) used to say that you do not feel sympathy or pity for somebody ‘I have to go to Brazil on business.’ ‘My heart bleeds for you!’ used to say that you feel a lot of sympathy for somebody Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. somebody feels nervous or frightened about something My heart was in my mouth as she opened the envelope. See related entries: Nervous, Fear used to say that somebody’s intentions are kind and sincere even though they sometimes do the wrong thing used to say that you are not very interested in or enthusiastic about something used to say that somebody has a sudden feeling of happiness or excitement My heart leapt at the news. See related entries: Happiness used to say that somebody has a sudden feeling of fear, excitement, etc. My heart missed a beat when I saw who it was. used to say that somebody 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. (saying) a home is where the people you love are (British English) happy and cheerful See related entries: Happiness 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 decision. it makes somebody feel happy when they see or hear something It does my heart good to see the old place being taken care of so well. to act according to what you feel rather than to what you think is sensible to stop hoping for something or trying to do something because you no longer feel confident (formal) to fall in love with somebody/something a man/woman who likes the same things or has the same opinions as you to be unable to do something because you know that it will make somebody sad or upset (British English) = by 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? to tell somebody all your problems, feelings, etc.
part of body
to want something very much They’ve set their heart on a house in the country. (formal) very unhappy or disappointed See related entries: Unhappiness to cry noisily for a long time because you are very sad (literary) to make somebody fall in love with you See related entries: Love (formal) to make somebody be afraid, etc. 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. to be very upset by something that somebody says or does You shouldn’t take everything he says to heart. (formal) to strongly affect you in an emotional way to destroy the most important part or aspect of something Closing the factory tore the heart out of the community. as much as you want a supervised play area where children can run around to their heart’s content (British English) to make somebody feel happy or sympathetic Doesn’t that story just warm the cockles of your heart? the way to make somebody like or love you The way to a man's heart is through his stomach (= by giving him good food). to allow your feelings to be seen by other people He’s not one to wear his heart on his sleeve. (saying) if a person does not know about something that they would normally disapprove of, then it cannot hurt them What does it matter if I use his flat while he’s away? What the eye doesn’t see…! to make somebody love you See related entries: Love completely I hope with all my heart that things work out for you. thinking and behaving like a young person even when you are old My father is 76 but he’s still young at heart.