General English

  • noun your feelings and emotions
  • noun a centre or middle
  • noun one of the red sets in a game of cards, with a symbol shaped like a heart


  • noun a muscular organ that pumps blood round an animal’s body
  • noun the compact central part of a vegetable such as lettuce, cabbage or celery, where new leaves or stalks form
  • noun the innermost part of something


  • The center portion of the cross section of a log. The term usually refers to heartwood. See also heartwood.


  • noun the main organ in the body, which maintains the circulation of the blood around the body by its pumping action

Origin & History of “heart”

Heart is part of a widespread Indo-European family of words for the ‘cardiac muscle’, which all go back to the common ancestor *kerd-. From it come Greek kardíā (source of English cardiac (17th c.)), Latin cor (whence French coeur, Italian cuor, Spanish corazón, not to mention a wide range of English descendants, including concord, cordial, courage, quarry ‘hunted animal’, and record), modern Irish croidhe, Russian serdce, and Latvian sirds. Its Germanic off-spring was *khertōn, which produced German herz, Dutch hart, Swedish hjärta, Danish hjerte, and English heart. The only major Indo-European languages to have taken a different path are Romanian, whose inima ‘heart’ comes from Latin anima ‘soul’, and Welsh, which keeps craidd for the metaphorical sense ‘centre’, but for the bodily organ has calon, a descendant of Latin caldus ‘warm’.