heart

1 of 2

noun

plural hearts
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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 difficult situation
never lost heart
see also take heart
5
: one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations
knew it in his heart
a man after my own heart
6
a
: 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)

Illustration of heart

Illustration of heart
  • 1 aorta
  • 2 pulmonary artery
  • 3 left atrium
  • 4 left ventricle
  • 5 right ventricle
  • 6 right atrium

heart

2 of 2

verb

hearted; hearting; hearts

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
Phrases
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

Example Sentences

Noun 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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
No one cares what’s in your heart or deep inside your bones, councilman. Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 The American people, and people with the spirit of American freedom in their heart. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 16 Nov. 2022 Anyone else have a warm place in their heart for Brandon Inge? Michael Shapiro, Chron, 16 Nov. 2022 According to Offset, Takeoff left a hole in his heart that will never be filled. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 15 Nov. 2022 He was diagnosed with high blood cholesterol in 2019 and said a scan revealed a blockage in his heart. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 14 Nov. 2022 Another line, Harmony, McPhee says has a special place in her heart as well. Alexandra Schonfeld, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2022 Joy has a special place in her heart for croissants and tiramisu, and is always on the hunt for the next cafe to explore in the city (a journey that never ends!). Joy Cho, Good Housekeeping, 12 Nov. 2022 This spirited wartime spy show never had enough time in two short seasons to meld MCU tics to the midcentury matinee serials in its heart. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 11 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near heart

Cite this Entry

“Heart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heart. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

heart

noun

ˈhärt
1
a
: a hollow muscular organ of vertebrates that expands and contracts to move blood through the arteries, veins, and capillaries
b
: a structure in an invertebrate that serves a purpose like that of the heart of a vertebrate
2
: the central or most important part
the heart of a forest
the heart of the argument
3
a
: something resembling a heart in shape
b
: a playing card marked with red simplified patterns of hearts
c
plural : a card game whose object is to avoid taking tricks with hearts
4
a
: human feelings : affection, kindness
a ruler without heart
b
: courage, spirit
take heart
5
by heart
: by rote or from memory
to heart
: with deep concern
hearted
-əd
adjective

Medical Definition

heart

noun

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

Geographical Definition

Heart

geographical name

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

More from Merriam-Webster on heart

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ