lump in one's throat
A feeling of constriction in the throat caused by emotion, as in The bride's mother had a lump in her throat. This expression likens the sense of a physical swelling to the tight sensation caused by strong feelings. [Mid-1800s]
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.