Definition of heartstring
1 obsolete : a nerve once believed to sustain the heart
2 : the deepest emotions or affections —usually used in plural That movie really pulls at your heartstrings.
heartstring was our Word of the Day on 02/14/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of heartstring from the Web
Country songs are known for pulling at the heartstrings, and these songs are among the most emotional in the genre.
John Crowley's immigrant love story tugs at the heartstrings and then some thanks to enormously likable performances from Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen.
Weekes taught the course and described how the kids' heartstrings were pulled a bit before the trial began, when Gillespie oversaw an adoption hearing for a special needs child and his future family.
On the other end of the Underwood spectrum are records that show the singer’s spiritual side, and this co-write (with Luke Laird and Zac Maloy) definitely tugged on many heartstrings upon its release in the fall of 2009.
Walsh has never been much of a singer, at least in terms of a singer who grabs you by the heartstrings.
As lights and sound (designed by Cherone, operated by Chris Ridenour) rise at the beginning of Act 1, the cast steps up to deliver a gentle comedy that tugs mercilessly at heartstrings and culminates in a bittersweet, hopeful ending.
But the story strains far too hard for laughs while never managing to tug at the heartstrings.
Which is why this new line of candles is tugging at our heartstrings.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heartstring'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
heartstring Has a Medical History
Before a song or movie or heart-shaped card accompanied by a box of chocolates could tug at your heartstrings, the job was more likely to be accomplished by a surgeon: the word heartstring used to refer to a nerve believed to sustain the heart. You might recognize the word's second syllable in the term "hamstring," which refers to both a group of tendons at the back of the knee and to any of three muscles at the backs of the upper legs. It's also apparent in a rare dialect term for the Achilles' tendon: "heel string." And in light of these terms, it's not surprising to know that "string" itself was at one time used independently to refer to cords like tendons and ligaments.
First Known Use of heartstring
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