(1)   A playing card in the major suit that has one or more red hearts on it
"He led the queen of hearts"
"Hearts were trumps"
(2)   An inclination or tendency of a certain kind
"He had a change of heart"
(3)   The courage to carry on
"He kept fighting on pure spunk"
"You haven't got the heart for baseball"
(4)   The hollow muscular organ located behind the sternum and between the lungs; its rhythmic contractions move the blood through the body
"He stood still, his heart thumping wildly"
(5)   The locus of feelings and intuitions
"In your heart you know it is true"
"Her story would melt your bosom"
(6)   The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
"The gist of the prosecutor's argument"
"The heart and soul of the Republican Party"
"The nub of the story"
(7)   A positive feeling of liking
"He had trouble expressing the affection he felt"
"The child won everyone's heart"
"The warmness of his welcome made us feel right at home"
(8)   A firm rather dry variety meat (usually beef or veal)
"A five-pound beef heart will serve six"
(9)   An area that is approximately central within some larger region
"It is in the center of town"
"They ran forward into the heart of the struggle"
"They were in the eye of the storm"
(10)   A plane figure with rounded sides curving inward at the top and intersecting at the bottom; conventionally used on playing cards and valentines
"He drew a heart and called it a valentine"


< < . Cognate with Dutch , German , Swedish . The Indo-European root is also the source of Greek , Latin , Welsh , Irish , Russian , Lithuanian .


  1. A muscular organ that pumps blood through the body, traditionally thought to be the seat of emotion.
      1. Emotions, kindness, moral effort, or spirit in general.
        The team lost, but they showed a lot of heart.
        • 2008, "Rights trampled in rush to deport immigrant workers," Quaker Action (magazine), vol. 89, no. 3, page 8:
          "We provided a lot of brains and a lot of heart to the response when it was needed," says Sandra Sanchez, director of AFSC's Immigrants' Voice Program in Des Moines.
      2. A conventional shape or symbol used to represent the heart, love, or emotion: ♥ or sometimes <3.
        • 1998, Pat Cadigan, Tea From an Empty Cup, page 106:
          "Aw. Thank you." The Cherub kissed the air between them and sent a small cluster of tiny red hearts at her.
      3. A playing card of the suit hearts featuring one or more heart-shaped symbols.
      4. The centre, essence, or core.
        • 1899, Robert Barr, The Strong Arm, ch. 3:
          At last she spoke in a low voice, hesitating slightly, nevertheless going with incisive directness into the very heart of the problem.


      1. To be fond of. Often bracketed or abbreviated with a heart symbol.
        • 1905, Capt. James, William Wordsworth (editor), Poems and Extracts, page 81
          I heart to pray their bones may rest in peace
        • 2000, pixie, Goths need to take a chill pill, alt.gothic
          Well, then I regret to inform you that you are NOT goth. Goths (heart) anal beads.
        • 2001 April 6, Michael Baldwin, "The Heart Has Its Reasons", Commonweal
          We're but the sum of all our terrors until we heart the dove.
        • 2006, Susan Reinhardt, Bulldog doesn't have to rely on the kindness of strangers to draw attention, Citizen-Times.com
          I guess at this point we were supposed to feel elated she'd come to her senses and decided she hearts dogs after all.
        • 2008 January 30, "Cheese in our time: Blur and Oasis to end feud with a Stilton", The Guardian (London)
          The further we delve into this "story", the more convinced we become of one thing: We heart the Goss.
        • 2008 July 25, "The Media Hearts Obama?", On The Media, National Public Radio
      2. To encourage.
      3. To fill an interior with rubble, as a wall or a breakwater.
      4. To form a dense cluster of leaves, a heart, especially of lettuce or cabbage.