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[hahrt-eyk] /ˈhɑrtˌeɪk/
emotional pain or distress; sorrow; grief; anguish.
Origin of heartache
before 1000; Middle English hert ache, Old English heort ece; see heart, ache
Related forms
heartaching, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for heartache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • True, there were hot days and restless nights, weary feet, and now and then a heartache.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He himself had gone through loneliness and heartache, and the shadow was still on him.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • If I'd seen you caring for Monny, I should have found some medicine to cure my heartache.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • War and suffering and heartache and trouble seemed a long, long way off.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • And then, alone once more, all his misery and heartache returned.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for heartache


intense anguish or mental suffering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heartache

Old English heortece, in the sense of a physical pain; c.1600 in sense of "anguish of mind;" from heart + ache. Old English did, however, have heartsarnes "grief," literally "heart-soreness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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