\ˈhärt \

Definition of heart 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a hollow muscular organ of vertebrate animals that by its rhythmic contraction acts as a force pump maintaining the circulation of the blood could feel her heart pounding

b : a structure in an invertebrate animal functionally analogous to the vertebrate heart

c : breast, bosom placed his hand on his heart

d : something resembling a heart in shape specifically : a stylized representation of a heart a card decorated with hearts and flowers

2a : a playing card marked with a stylized figure of a red heart

b hearts plural : the suit comprising cards marked with hearts the five of hearts

c hearts plural in form but singular or plural in construction : a game in which the object is to avoid taking tricks (see trick entry 1 sense 4) containing hearts

3a : personality, disposition a cold heart

b obsolete : intellect

4 : the emotional or moral nature as distinguished from the intellectual nature: such as

a : generous disposition : compassion a leader with heart

b : love, affection won her heart

c : courage or enthusiasm especially when maintained during a diffiicult situation never lost heart

5 : one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations knew it in his heart a man after my own heart

6a : the central or innermost part : center a cabin in the heart of the forest

b : the essential or most vital part of something the heart of the city get to the heart of the matter

c : the younger central compact part of a leafy rosette (such as a head of lettuce or stalk of celery)

at heart

: in essence : basically, essentially a romantic at heart

by heart

: by rote or from memory knows the poem by heart

to heart

: with deep concern took the criticism to heart


hearted; hearting; hearts

Definition of heart (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 informal

a : love entry 2 Jane hearts John. I loathe beer. But I heart beer commercials …— Rochell D. Thomas

b : to like (see like entry 1 sense 4) an online post, comment, etc., especially by clicking or tapping a heart-shaped symbol The tweet still hits home so much, not just for us, but for the 2.6 million that hearted her tweet too.The Edge (Auckland, New Zealand)

2 archaic : hearten

3 archaic : to fix in the heart


geographical name
\ˈhärt \

Definition of Heart (Entry 3 of 3)

river in southwestern North Dakota flowing 200 miles (320 kilometers) east into the Missouri River opposite Bismarck

Illustration of heart

Illustration of heart


heart 1a: 1 aorta, 2 pulmonary artery, 3 left atrium, 4 left ventricle, 5 right ventricle, 6 right atrium

In the meaning defined above

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Examples of heart in a Sentence


I could feel my heart pounding. He has a bad heart. He put his hand on his heart. When she heard the news, her heart filled with joy. She just couldn't find it in her heart to forgive them. I felt in my heart that our relationship was never meant to be. a ruler without a heart Have a heart! Can't you see he needs help?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the heart of that waterfront redevelopment project is the new V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum and the only V&A Museum outside of London. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "A Guide to Dundee, Scotland—the First City Outside London to Get Its Very Own V&A Museum," 14 July 2018 At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 The nay was made from thick reeds that grew wild in the region stretching from Ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia – at the heart of which lies modern-day Jordan. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Mina has, however, enjoyed a stunning World Cup campaign in Russia this summer at the heart of Colombia’s defence, and has earned a host of admirers through his standout performances, with Everton apparently among them. SI.com, "Everton Plotting Ambitious Double Swoop for Barcelona Defensive Stars Ahead of New Season," 13 July 2018 The horrific regime at the heart of The Handmaid’s Tale, which just wrapped its Emmy-nominated second season on Hulu this week, is a lot of things. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid’s Tale," 13 July 2018 More: Meet Lucky, an elk whose dramatic birth story will melt your heartInside Bearizona Canyonlands, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant with a 25-foot waterfall, overlooks the jaguar exhibit. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 This week’s turmoil at the heart of government could look tame compared with what will happen later this year when Parliament has to legislate. The Economist, "The Conservative Party has trashed the basic principles of conservatism," 12 July 2018 And while The Valley course is certainly at the heart of the transformation at the club, the overhaul includes much more than that. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "Hunt Valley Country Club," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of heart


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for heart


Middle English hert, from Old English heorte; akin to Old High German herza heart, Latin cord-, cor, Greek kardia


see heart entry 1

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Statistics for heart

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heart

The first known use of heart was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for heart



English Language Learners Definition of heart

: the organ in your chest that pumps blood through your veins and arteries

: the front part of your chest

: the heart thought of as the place where emotions are felt


\ˈhärt \

Kids Definition of heart

1 : a hollow muscular organ of the body that expands and contracts to move blood through the arteries and veins

2 : something shaped like a heart a Valentine's heart

3 : a part near the center or deep into the interior They reached the heart of the desert.

4 : the most essential part That's the heart of the problem.

5 : human feelings Speak from your heart.

6 : courage or enthusiasm I don't have the heart to tell them what happened.

by heart

: so as to be able to repeat from memory I think I'm going to learn his new phone number by heart.— Paula Danziger, Amber Brown


\ˈhärt \

Medical Definition of heart 

1 : a hollow muscular organ of vertebrate animals that by its rhythmic contraction acts as a force pump maintaining the circulation of the blood and that in the human adult is about five inches (13 centimeters) long and three and one half inches (9 centimeters) broad, is of conical form, is placed obliquely in the chest with the broad end upward and to the right and the apex opposite the interval between the cartilages of the fifth and sixth ribs on the left side, is enclosed in a serous pericardium, and consists as in other mammals and in birds of four chambers divided into an upper pair of rather thin-walled atria which receive blood from the veins and a lower pair of thick-walled ventricles into which the blood is forced and which in turn pump it into the arteries

2 : a structure in an invertebrate animal functionally analogous to the vertebrate heart

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Comments on heart

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