Heart – Idioms and Expressions
Break someone’s heart
Definition: hurt someone, usually romantically, or to cause some great disappointment
Angela broke Brad’s heart last year. He can’t get over her.
I think losing the job broke his heart.
Cross your heart and hope to die
Definition: Phrase meaning that you swear you are telling the truth
I cross my heart and hope to die. She’s coming tomorrow!
Do you cross your heart and hope to die? I won’t believe you otherwise.
Eat your heart out
Definition: to be jealous or envious of someone else
I’m going to New York next week. Eat your heart out!
When he hears about your promotion he’ll eat his heart out.
Follow your heart
Definition: Do what you believe is right
I think you should follow your heart and move to Chicago.
She said she had to follow her heart and marry Peter, even if her parents didn’t approve.
From the bottom of my heart
Definition: Usually used in the first person, this phrase means that you are completely sincere
You’re the best player on the basketball team. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I think you are a wonderful person. Really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Get at the heart of the matter
Definition: Discuss the main issue, concern
I’d like to get at the heart of the matter by discussing our marketing proposals.
She didn’t waste any time and got right to the heart of the matter.
Be halfhearted about something
Definition: Not do or take something completely seriously
I wish you weren’t so halfhearted about this new project! Get serious!
She was rather halfhearted in her attempts to find a job.
Have a change of heart
Definition: Change one’s mind
Fred had a change of heart and invited the young boy into his home.
I wish you would have a change of heart about Tim. He really deserves some help.
Have a heart of gold
Definition: Be very trustworthy and well meaning
Peter has a heart of gold if you give him the chance to prove himself.
You an trust her. She has a heart of gold.
Have a heart of stone
Definition: Be cold, unforgiving
She’ll never understand your position. She has a heart of stone.
Don’t expect any pity from me. I have a heart of stone.
Have a heart-to-heart talk
Definition: Have an open and honest discussion with someone
I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart talk about your grades.
She called her friend Betty to have a heart-to-heart talk with her about her problems.
Have your heart in the right place / One’s heart in the right place
Definition: To mean well, have the right intentions
Come on, you know John has his heart in the right place. He just made a mistake.
Know something by heart / learn something by heart
Definition: Know something such as lines in a play, or music perfectly, to be able to perform something by memory
He knew all his lines by heart two weeks before the performance.
You need to learn this piece by heart next week.
Have one’s heart set on something / set against something
Definition: Absolutely want something / Absolutely not want something
She has her heart set on winning the medal.
Frank has his heart set against his promotion. There’s nothing I can do to help him.
One’s heart misses a beat / One’s heart skips a beat
Definition: To be completely surprised by something
My heart missed a beat when I heart the news that she was pregnant.
She was so surprised by the announcement hat her heart skipped a beat.
Pour one’s heart out
Definition: Confess or confide in someone
I poured my heart out to Tim when I discovered that I hadn’t received the promotion.
I wish you would pour your heart out to someone. You need to get these feelings out.
Definition: Have courage
You should take heart and try your best.
Take heart. The worst is over.