Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for heartache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He looked at his watch and was surprised at the hour, for he had nothing but a heartache to show for so much time.

  • Why does the eager young missionary have to go through all this heartache?

    Have We No Rights? Mabel Williamson
  • So John's marriage took place without his brother's presence, and John missed him and had a heartache about it.

    The Measure of a Man Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • My eyes had not been wet through all the hours of the evening and night; my heartache had been dry.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • In fact, it was just here that, in spite of the heartache, each found an odd satisfaction.

    Across the Years Eleanor H. Porter
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for heartache

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for heartache

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for heartache