young at heart

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Having a youthful outlook, especially in spite of one's age. For example, She loves carnivals and fairs; she's a grandmother but she's young at heart.

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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.


What does young at heart mean?

Young at heart is a phrase that describes a person as having traits associated with young people, such as hopefulness, optimism, energy, or enthusiasm, as in Edgar is ninety years old but is young at heart. 

Young at heart can also be used as a noun phrase, as in Disneyland is a place that brings joy to both the young and the young at heart. When used this way, the word the is often placed before young at heart and the phrase is treated as a plural noun.

Generally, young at heart is most often used to refer to people who are considered to be older than a young adult. It may be used to refer to older teenagers or young adults by comparing them to young children, but this usage is less common.

Example: Even in his late forties, Bob is still young at heart and loves playing with the train sets he enjoyed as a boy.

Where does young at heart come from?

The first records of the phrase young at heart come from around 1714. Metaphorically, your heart (the organ that pumps blood through the body) is said to be responsible for your personality or emotions. The phrase young at heart plays on this usage, stating that a person (who probably isn’t young) has the heart of a young person.

Although young at heart is widely used as a positive phrase, it is important to not imply that older people are never hopeful or energetic. Instead, it can be used to state that an older person still has all of the positive qualities they had when they were younger or that they enjoy things such as toys, games, and playgrounds that are more often associated with children.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with young at heart

What are some words that often get used in discussing young at heart?

How is young at heart used in real life?

Young at heart is a common phrase used by people to describe themselves or others as having qualities associated with young people or children.

Try using young at heart!

True or False?

The phrase young at heart is used to describe a person as having traits or qualities commonly associated with young people.

How to use young at heart in a sentence