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See more synonyms for heartless on Thesaurus.com
  1. unfeeling; unkind; unsympathetic; harsh; cruel: heartless words; a heartless ruler.
  2. Archaic. lacking courage or enthusiasm; spiritless; disheartened.
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Origin of heartless

1300–50; Middle English herteles, Old English heortlēas. See heart, -less
Related formsheart·less·ly, adverbheart·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for heartlessly

viciously, fiercely, savagely, mercilessly, relentlessly, ferociously, ruthlessly, meanly, atrociously, barbarically, barbarously, callously, diabolically, heartlessly, inexorably, inhumanely, inhumanly, pitilessly, unkindly, cruelly

Examples from the Web for heartlessly

Contemporary Examples of heartlessly

Historical Examples of heartlessly

  • Rose Eversley began to laugh helplessly; heartlessly, her sister thought.

  • The days and months passed, heartlessly confirming my conjecture, my belief.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • This story, heartlessly and irreverently told, was the tragedy of my life!

  • Only because you are young and blind can you speak so heartlessly.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • To every appeal they heartlessly refused to divulge the key to the lock-in.

    Meeting of the Board

    Alan Edward Nourse

British Dictionary definitions for heartlessly


  1. unkind or cruel; hard-hearted
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Derived Formsheartlessly, adverbheartlessness, noun
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 heartlessly



Old English heortleas "dispirited, dejected;" see heart + -less. In Middle English with expanded senses "lacking in courage; foolish; listless; half-hearted; sluggish." Sense of "callous, cruel" is not certainly attested before Shelley used it in 1816. Literal meaning "lacking a heart, lifeless" (mid-15c.) is rare. Related: Heartlessly; heartlessness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper