heart·​less | \ˈhärt-ləs \

Definition of heartless 

1 archaic : spiritless

2 : lacking feeling : cruel

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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

Admittedly, there is something tacky, if not heartless, about fishing in such a manner. Charles Passy, WSJ, "From Tackle Box to Bento Box, New Japanese Spot Casts Different Approach to Dining," 9 Oct. 2018 Chivers—a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter and occasional contributor to Popular Mechanics—allows these people to be hopeful and heartless and flawed and fanatical. Matt Young, Popular Mechanics, "In 'The Fighters,' A Pulitzer Prize–Winning War Reporter Strips Iraq and Afghanistan to the Bone," 9 Aug. 2018 Less than 24 hours after five of her colleagues were gunned down in a heartless act of senseless violence, Capital Gazette reporter Selene San Felice gave an emotional interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "5 Journalists Were Killed and Sen. Marco Rubio Is More Concerned About Their Colleague Dropping the F-Bomb," 29 June 2018 Vista’s billionaire co-founder comes off as the epitome of the heartless Wall Street investor, despite reports of a hug-happy, egalitarian work environment. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—AT&T Risking HBO Franchise With Corporate Pressure," 10 July 2018 Tess Thompson Talley from Nippa, Kentucky is a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "American hunter's images of her black giraffe 'trophy kill' spark outrage," 1 July 2018 The government, represented by Catherine Keener as a rather heartless supervisor, is worried that cartels are now sneaking terrorists across the border with Mexico. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' lacks ambition of the original," 28 June 2018 That incident last July shocked Cocoa, after the video spread across social media, displaying the teens’ heartless disregard for Dunn, who was disabled. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Teens Who Laughed at, Mocked, Failed to Help Florida Man Who Drowned Will Not Face Charges," 26 June 2018 Trump, of course, has said all manner of heartless things. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Sarah Sanders is upset a restaurant wouldn’t serve her. She’s OK with it happening to gays.," 24 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of heartless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for heartless

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for heartless

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

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More Definitions for heartless



English Language Learners Definition of heartless

: very cruel


heart·​less | \ˈhärt-ləs \

Kids Definition of heartless

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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).


noxious or harmful

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