The following idioms and expressions are built around the word ‘heart’. Each idiom is followed by its meaning / definition and example sentences.
Break someone’s heart
To break someone’s heart is to hurt him / her. This idiom is often used to talk about failed romantic relationships.
- She has broken many hearts.
- He is nursing a broken heart. (= A romantic relationship he was involved in has failed.)
- His failure in the exam broke his Dad’s heart.
From the bottom of my heart
When you say something from the bottom of your heart, you are completely sincere.
- He is the best guy you can find. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Get at the heart of the matter
To get at the heart of the matter is to deal with the main issue / concern.
- Let’s get right at the heart of the matter without wasting any time.
Cross your heart and hope to die
This expression is used to swear that you are telling the truth.
- Would you cross your heart and hope to die? I won’t believe you otherwise.
Eat your heart out
To eat your heart out is to be jealous of someone else.
- When she sees your new car she will eat her heart out.
- I have won a lottery. Eat your heart out!
Follow your heart
To follow your heart is to do what you believe is right.
- Her parents were against her relationship with Peter. Nonetheless, she followed her heart and married him.
Be halfhearted about something
If you are halfhearted about something, you do not take it very seriously.
- If you are halfhearted about your studies, you are not going to get good marks.
- He was rather halfhearted in his attempts to find a good job.
Have a change of heart
To have a change of heart is to change one’s mind.
- I don’t know why she had a change of heart at the last moment. When I talked to her yesterday, she seemed very interested in the offer.
Have a heart of gold
To have a heart of gold is to be trustworthy.
- I think you should give him another chance to prove himself. He has a heart of gold.
Have a heart of stone
If you have a heart of stone, you are very cold and unforgiving.
- You can’t expect her to help you. She has a heart of stone.
Have a heart-to-heart talk
To have a heart-to-heart talk is to have an open and honest conversation with someone.
- Betty wanted to save her marriage, so she decided that it was time to have a heart-to-heart talk with her husband.
- I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart talk about your problems.
Have your heart in the right place / One’s heart in the right place
To have your heart in the right place is to have the right intentions.
- His words might have offended you but I am sure that he has his heart in the right place.
Know something by heart / learn something by heart
- You have to learn this poem by heart.
Have one’s heart set on something / Have one’s heart set against something
To have your heart set on something is to absolutely want something. When you have your heart set against something, you don’t want it.
- If he has his heart set on something, there is nothing that can stop him.
- She has her heart set against moving to Chicago. There is nothing that I can do to persuade her to change her decision.
One’s heart misses a beat / One’s heart skips a beat
When your heart misses a beat, you are completely surprised something.
- My heart missed a beat when they announced that I was the winner.