the floor of a fireplace, usually of stone, brick, etc., often extending a short distance into a room.
home; fireside: the joys of family and hearth.
  1. the lower part of a blast furnace, cupola, etc., in which the molten metal collects and from which it is tapped out.
  2. the part of an open hearth, reverberatory furnace, etc., upon which the charge is placed and melted down or refined.
a brazier or chafing dish for burning charcoal.

Origin of hearth

before 900; Middle English herth(e), Old English he(o)rth; cognate with German Herd, Dutch haard
Related formshearth·less, adjectivemul·ti·hearth, noun

Synonyms for hearth

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hearth

Contemporary Examples of hearth

Historical Examples of hearth

  • At the breakfast-table, comfortably near the hearth, sat Horace Milbrey.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The hearth bore a uniform appearance, and did not seem to have been tampered with.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He certainly had warmed a snake on his hearth, and how was he to be rid of it?

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Seizing the lamp from the hearth, she hastened to the window that overlooked the street-door.

    The Wives of The Dead

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • How it came, how it was passed from hearth to hearth, defied our penetration.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for hearth



  1. the floor of a fireplace, esp one that extends outwards into the room
  2. (as modifier)hearth rug
this part of a fireplace as a symbol of the home, etc
the bottom part of a metallurgical furnace in which the molten metal is produced or contained

Word Origin for hearth

Old English heorth; related to Old High German herd hearth, Latin carbō charcoal
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

Word Origin and History for hearth

Old English heorð "hearth, fire," in transferred use "house, home," from West Germanic *hertho "burning place" (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian herth, Middle Dutch hert, Dutch haard, German Herd "floor, ground, fireplace"), from PIE *kerta-, from root *ker- "heat, fire" (see carbon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper