verb (used with object)

  1. to fix in the heart.
  2. to encourage.
Informal. to like or enjoy very much; love: I heart Chicago.

Nearby words

  1. hearsay evidence,
  2. hearsay rule,
  3. hearse,
  4. hearst,
  5. hearst, william randolph,
  6. heart and soul,
  7. heart attack,
  8. heart block,
  9. heart cam,
  10. heart cherry


Origin of heart

before 900; Middle English herte, Old English heorte; cognate with Dutch hart, German Herz, Old Norse hjarta, Gothic hairtō; akin to Latin cor (see cordial, courage), Greek kardía (see cardio-); def 19, from the use of the stylized heart symbol to represent love

Can be confusedhart heart

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

British Dictionary definitions for take heart



the hollow muscular organ in vertebrates whose contractions propel the blood through the circulatory system. In mammals it consists of a right and left atrium and a right and left ventricleRelated adjective: cardiac
the corresponding organ or part in invertebrates
this organ considered as the seat of life and emotions, esp love
emotional mood or dispositiona happy heart; a change of heart
tenderness or pityyou have no heart
courage or spirit; bravery
the inmost or most central part of a thingthe heart of the city
the most important or vital partthe heart of the matter
(of vegetables such as cabbage) the inner compact part
the core of a tree
the part nearest the heart of a person; breastshe held him to her heart
a dearly loved person: usually used as a term of addressdearest heart
a conventionalized representation of the heart, having two rounded lobes at the top meeting in a point at the bottom
  1. a red heart-shaped symbol on a playing card
  2. a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl.) the suit of cards so marked
a fertile condition in land, conducive to vigorous growth in crops or herbage (esp in the phrase in good heart)
after one's own heart appealing to one's own disposition, taste, or tendencies
at heart in reality or fundamentally
break one's heart or break someone's heart to grieve or cause to grieve very deeply, esp through love
by heart by committing to memory
cross my heart! or cross my heart and hope to die! I promise!
eat one's heart out to brood or pine with grief or longing
from one's heart or from the bottom of one's heart very sincerely or deeply
have a heart! be kind or merciful
have one's heart in it (usually used with a negative) to have enthusiasm for something
have one's heart in one's boots to be depressed or down-hearted
have one's heart in one's mouth or have one's heart in one's throat to be full of apprehension, excitement, or fear
have one's heart in the right place
  1. to be kind, thoughtful, or generous
  2. to mean well
have the heart (usually used with a negative) to have the necessary will, callousness, etc (to do something)I didn't have the heart to tell him
heart and soul absolutely; completely
heart of hearts the depths of one's conscience or emotions
heart of oak a brave person
in one's heart secretly; fundamentally
lose heart to become despondent or disillusioned (over something)
lose one's heart to to fall in love with
near to one's heart or close to one's heart cherished or important
set one's heart on to have as one's ambition to obtain; covet
take heart to become encouraged
take to heart to take seriously or be upset about
to one's heart's content as much as one wishes
wear one's heart on one's sleeve to show one's feelings openly
with all one's heart or with one's whole heart very willingly


(intr) (of vegetables) to form a heart
an archaic word for hearten
See also hearts

Word Origin for heart

Old English heorte; related to Old Norse hjarta, Gothic hairtō, Old High German herza, Latin cor, Greek kardia, Old Irish cride

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 take heart



Old English heorte "heart; breast, soul, spirit, will, desire; courage; mind, intellect," from Proto-Germanic *khertan- (cf. Old Saxon herta, Old Frisian herte, Old Norse hjarta, Dutch hart, Old High German herza, German Herz, Gothic hairto), from PIE *kerd- "heart" (cf. Greek kardia, Latin cor, Old Irish cride, Welsh craidd, Hittite kir, Lithuanian širdis, Russian serdce "heart," Breton kreiz "middle," Old Church Slavonic sreda "middle").

Spelling with -ea- is c.1500, reflecting what then was a long vowel, and remained when pronunciation shifted. Most of the figurative senses were present in Old English, including "intellect, memory," now only in by heart. Heart attack attested from 1875; heart disease is from 1864. The card game hearts is so called from 1886.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for take heart




The chambered, muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood received from the veins into the arteries, thereby maintaining the flow of blood through the entire circulatory system.
A similarly functioning structure in invertebrates.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for take heart



The hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood through the body of a vertebrate animal by contracting and relaxing. In humans and other mammals, it has four chambers, consisting of two atria and two ventricles. The right side of the heart collects blood with low oxygen levels from the veins and pumps it to the lungs. The left side receives blood with high oxygen levels from the lungs and pumps it into the aorta, which carries it to the arteries of the body. The heart in other vertebrates functions similarly but often has fewer chambers.
A similar but simpler organ in invertebrate animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for take heart


The hollow muscular organ that is the center of the circulatory system. The heart pumps blood throughout the intricate system of blood vessels in the body.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with take heart

take heart

Be confident, be brave, as in Take heart, we may still win this game. This idiom uses heart in the sense of “courage.” [First half of 1500s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with heart

  • heart and soul
  • heart goes out to, one's
  • heart in it, have one's
  • heart in one's mouth, have one's
  • heart in the right place, have one's
  • heart is set on
  • heart misses a beat, one's
  • heart not in it
  • heart of gold
  • heart of stone
  • heart of the matter
  • heart on one's sleeve
  • heart sinks, one's
  • heart stands still
  • heart to heart

also see:

  • absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • after one's own heart
  • at heart
  • break someone's heart
  • by heart
  • change of heart
  • cold hands, warm heart
  • cross my heart
  • cry one's eyes (heart) out
  • cut to the quick (heart)
  • do one (one's heart) good
  • eat one's heart out
  • find it in one's heart
  • from the bottom of one's heart
  • get to the heart of
  • give someone heart failure
  • half a heart
  • harden one's heart
  • have a heart
  • have no heart for
  • heavy heart
  • in one's heart of hearts
  • lose heart
  • lose one's heart to
  • near to one's heart
  • not have the heart to
  • open one's heart
  • pour out one's heart
  • set one's heart on
  • sick at heart
  • steal someone's heart
  • steel one's heart against
  • take heart
  • take to heart
  • to one's heart's content
  • warm heart
  • warm the cockles of one's heart
  • wear one's heart on one's sleeve
  • with all one's heart
  • young at heart
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.