Meaning of “heart” in the English Dictionary

"heart" in British English

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uk /hɑːt/ us /hɑːrt/

heart noun (ORGAN)

A2 [ C ] the organ in your chest that sends the blood around your body:

He's got a weak/bad heart (= his heart is not healthy).
Isabel's heart was beating fast with fright.

More examples

  • The teacher drew a diagram showing how the blood flows through the heart.
  • Small amounts of alcohol are held to be good for the heart.
  • The bullet missed his heart by a couple of centimetres.
  • I could feel my heart pounding as I went on stage to collect the prize.

heart noun (EMOTIONS)

B1 [ C or U ] used to refer to a person's character, or the place within a person where feelings or emotions are considered to come from:

She has a good heart (= she is a kind person).
I love you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart (= very sincerely).
I love you with all my heart (= very much).
He said he'd never marry but he had a change of heart (= his feelings changed) when he met her.
Homelessness is a subject very close/dear to her heart (= is very important to her and she has strong feelings about it).
He broke her heart (= made her very sad) when he left her for another woman.
It breaks my heart (= makes me feel very sad) to see him so unhappy.
They say he died of a broken heart (= because he was so sad).
old-fashioned It does my heart good (= makes me very happy) to see those children so happy.
His heart leaped (= he suddenly felt very excited and happy) when the phone rang.

More examples

  • She remained silent, for her heart was heavy and her spirits low.
  • Could you find it in your heart to forgive her?
  • She's very understanding - you feel you can really open your heart to her.
  • What he said struck terror in my heart .
  • When I said I loved you, I meant it from the bottom of my heart.

heart noun (CENTRAL PART)

B1 [ S ] the central or most important part:

The demonstrators will march through the heart of the capital.
A disagreement about boundaries is at the heart of the dispute.
Let's get to the heart of the matter.

[ C ] the firm central part of a vegetable, especially one with a lot of leaves:

artichoke hearts
the heart of a lettuce

More examples

  • These are changes that attack the very heart of British society.
  • By its nature, terrorism is designed to strike at the heart of our democratic values.
  • They live in a two-bedroomed house in the heart of suburbia.
  • He had a key job at the heart of government.
  • They've got a fabulous apartment in the heart of Paris.

heart noun (COURAGE)

C2 [ U ] courage, determination, or hope:

You're doing really well - don't lose heart now.
Take heart - things can only get better.

heartverb [ T ]

uk /hɑːt/ us /hɑːrt/

(Definition of “heart” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"heart" in American English

See all translations


us /hɑrt/

heart noun (ORGAN)

[ C ] the organ inside the chest that sends the blood around the body:

heart disease
The paramedics took his pulse to see if his heart was still beating.

heart noun (EMOTIONS)

[ C/U ] the center of a person’s emotions, or the general character of someone:

[ C ] He has a good/kind heart (= is a kind and generous person).
[ C ] Our hearts were broken (= We were very sad) at the news of the accident.
[ C ] Homelessness is a subject close/near to her heart (= is important to her and is a subject she feels strongly about).
[ U ] In his heart (= According to his true feelings), he knew she was right.
She can be abrupt with people at times, but at heart (= basically) she’s a good person.

heart noun (CENTER)

[ C/U ] the central or most important part:

[ C usually sing ] Protestors marched through the heart of the city.

[ C/U ] The heart of a vegetable, esp. a leafy one, is its firm, central part:

heart noun (SHAPE)

[ C ] a shape used to represent the heart, esp. as a symbol of love

(Definition of “heart” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)