- any of various plants belonging to the genus Dicentra, of the fumitory family, especially D. spectabilis, a common garden plant having long, one-sided clusters of rose or red heart-shaped flowers.
- a person who makes an ostentatious or excessive display of pity or concern for others.
Origin of bleeding heart
Examples from the Web for bleeding heart
Some of the bleeding-heart left-wing, extreme left-wing, are actually different from liberals.Robert Duvall on His Storied Career, His New Movie, and Why He’s Ditching the GOP
March 13, 2014
Just plain, old-fashioned, bleeding-heart liberal Democrats.Michigan’s Primary Party Crashers: Democrats Crossing Over to Thwart Romney
February 28, 2012
In Sodom, the mob comes to get the strangers and the bleeding-heart liberal who tried to put a roof over their head.Republicans and the 'Quality of Sodom'
July 23, 2012
To this genus belongs the beautiful Oriental bleeding-heart of the garden; and we have two or three interesting native species.
The bleeding-heart is a rather shy flower, and never makes itself common enough to dull our enthusiasm for it.
- any of several plants of the genus Dicentra, esp the widely cultivated Japanese species D. spectabilis, which has finely divided leaves and heart-shaped nodding pink flowers: family Fumariaceae
- a person who is excessively softhearted
- (as modifier)a bleeding-heart liberal
Word Origin and History for bleeding heart
type of flowering plant, so called from 1690s. In the sense of "person excessively sympathetic" (especially toward those the speaker deems not to deserve it) is attested by 1951, but said by many to have been popularized with reference to liberals (especially Eleanor Roosevelt) in 1930s by newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler (1894-1969), though quotations are wanting; bleeding in a figurative sense of "generous" is from late 16c., and the notion of one's heart bleeding as a figure of emotional anguish is from late 14c., but the exact image here may be the "bleeding heart of Jesus."