heart·​less | \ ˈhärt-ləs How to pronounce heartless (audio) \

Definition of heartless

1 archaic : spiritless
2 : lacking feeling : cruel

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from heartless

heartlessly adverb
heartlessness noun

Examples of heartless in a Sentence

a heartless boss who would fire people for missing work, even if they were sick as a dog his heartless whipping of runaway slaves virtually to the point of death shocked even other slave owners
Recent Examples on the Web Wearing masks is a duty; people who don’t do it are irresponsible, heartless, not respectful. Tony Bravo, SFChronicle.com, "Mask the rage: How to talk to people who don’t wear face coverings," 16 May 2020 And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Thank you to health care workers and to folks who are staying home," 7 Apr. 2020 As a result, Just Mercy often lacks ambiguity: Stevenson is good, McMillan is innocent, and the system that put the latter in jail is biased, heartless, and almost impossible to overcome. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Strength of Just Mercy Is Also Its Weakness," 10 Jan. 2020 The ruling party, Law and Justice, is strongly pro-Catholic and won elections in 2015 promising to help the poor and other disadvantaged people, but now faces accusations of treating society’s weakest members in a heartless way. Washington Post, "Poland’s Walesa visits disabled protesters in parliament," 23 May 2018 Is putting boulders on streets a heartless act meant to penalize the city’s most vulnerable, or a desperate move by exhausted residents who want to feel safe on their own block? Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, "SF’s rock fight dies down but saga of homelessness and drugs far from over," 6 Oct. 2019 There is an appetite for heartless humor and a bustling market for anything in opposition to the politically correct. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "A Kobe Bryant Joke Goes Wrong, Revealing Comedy’s Troll Side," 5 Feb. 2020 The Academy this year must choose among heartless hitmen and sprinting soldiers, supportive sisters and depressed divorcees, action actors and comic book killers. Ben Zauzmer, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: Decoding the Best Picture Race Using Just Math," 27 Jan. 2020 Just as thriving businesses at their best invigorate and enrich, so government at its worst can be capable of heartless cruelty and indifference. The Economist, "America’s presidential election The Democratic primaries will be a contest between radicals and repairers," 6 Feb. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of heartless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heartless

Time Traveler for heartless

Time Traveler

The first known use of heartless was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for heartless

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heartless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartless. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heartless


How to pronounce heartless (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of heartless

: very cruel


heart·​less | \ ˈhärt-ləs How to pronounce heartless (audio) \

Kids Definition of heartless

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on heartless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heartless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heartless

Spanish Central: Translation of heartless

Nglish: Translation of heartless for Spanish Speakers

Comments on heartless

What made you want to look up heartless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!