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heavy heart, with a

In a sad or miserable state, unhappily, as in He left her with a heavy heart, wondering if she would ever recover. The adjective heavy has been used in the sense of “weighed down wit grief or sadness” since about 1300. Its antonym light dates from the same period. The latter use survives only inlight heart, meaning “freedom from the weight of sorrow”—that is, “a happy feeling.” For example, She left for Europe with a light heart, knowing that the kids would be fine.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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