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aching heart
- a feeling of sadness that one has when love has been lost or has faded
The young woman spent the weekend alone with her aching heart.

after one’s own heart
- to be liked for agreeing with one’s own feelings or interests or ideas
My new boss loves to go fishing. He is a man after my own heart.

at heart
- basically, essentially, what one really is rather than what one appears to be
The man seems to be angry all the time but actually he is a very gentle person at heart.

bleeding heart
- someone who feels too much sympathy for people such as poor people or criminals etc.
The man is a bleeding heart and is always asked by other people for money to help others.

break (someone’s) heart
- to make someone feel sad or hopeless (usually because of love or a similar loss)
It broke my heart to see the boy who had lost his dog.

close to (someone's) heart
- an idea or something that is important to you and that you care about
The plan to improve the downtown area is very close to the mayor's heart.

cross one’s heart and hope to die
- to say or promise that what you have said is true (often used by children)
"I promise that I will meet you tomorrow. Cross my heart and hope to die."

die of a broken heart
- to die of emotional distress, to suffer from emotional distress (often from a failed romance)
The man almost died of a broken heart when he was a teenager.

do (someone's) heart good
- to make someone feel good, to make someone healthy
It does one's heart good to get some exercise every day.

do (something) in a heartbeat
- to do something almost immediately if you have the chance
I will change jobs in a heartbeat if I have the chance.

eat one’s heart out
- to feel much jealousy about something, to feel bitter anguish or grief about something
"You can eat your heart out but I will not give you a piece of this chocolate cake."
The pain from the man's sorrow is eating his heart out.

find it in one's heart to (do something)
- to have the courage or compassion to do something
I could not find it in my heart to tell the young woman that she could not continue to work at our company.

follow one's heart
- to act according to one's feelings
The boy followed his heart and decided to study music at school.

from the bottom of one’s heart
- with great feeling, sincerely
The girl thanked the man from the bottom of her heart for saving her dog's life.
from the heart
- sincerely, honestly
The speech by the politician was from the heart.

get to the heart of (something)
- to understand the most important or essential thing about something
It took a long time but we finally got to the heart of the problem with the new computer.

go (somewhere) in a heartbeat
- to go somewhere almost immediately if you have the chance
I would go camping in a heartbeat if I had the chance.

have a big heart
- to be very kind or generous or helpful
The man has a big heart and he will always try to help other people.

have a change of heart
- to change the way one feels or thinks about something
I had a change of heart and I decided to go to a movie with my friend.

have a heart
- to be a generous and forgiving person
I wish that our boss would have a heart and try to help other people.

Have a heart!
- Don't be unkind or do something mean or cruel!
"Have a heart," I told my supervisor when he said that I must work during the weekend.

have a heart of gold
- to be kind or generous or friendly
My grandmother has a heart of gold and she is always willing to help a stranger.

have a heart of stone
- to be cold and unfriendly
The man who murdered his family has a heart of stone.

have a heart-to-heart talk with (someone)
- to have a sincere and intimate talk with someone
I had a heart-to-heart talk with my girlfriend last evening.

have a soft spot in one's heart for (someone or something)
- to be fond of someone or something
My grandfather always had a soft spot in his heart for his youngest child.

have one`s heart set on (something)
- to want something very much
The little boy has his heart set on getting a dog for his birthday.

heart and soul
- with all of one's energy, with all of one's efforts
The girl loved her boyfriend heart and soul.
My friend is putting his heart and soul into his new job.

heart bleeds for (someone)

- to feel sympathy for someone
My heart bleeds for the family who lost their father in the accident.

heart goes out to (someone)
- to feel great sympathy for someone
My heart goes out to the victims of the hurricane.

heart is dead set against (something)
- to be totally against something
My mother's heart is dead set against my plan to go to art school.

heart is in one's mouth
- one feels very nervous or frightened and has strong emotions about something
My heart was in my mouth when I saw the little boy standing on the ladder.

heart is in the right place
- to be kindhearted or sympathetic, to have good intentions (even if the results may be bad)
Although the girl makes a lot of mistakes her heart is in the right place.

heart is not in (something)
- to not really want to do what you are doing
The boy's heart was not in the swimming club so he quit the team.

heart is set against (something)
- to be totally against something
Our principal's heart is set against expanding the music program in our school.

heart is set on (something)
- to want something very much
The little boy's heart is set on getting a dog for his birthday.

heart misses/skips a beat
- one is startled or excited from surprise or joy or fright
My heart skipped a beat when I heard my name on the radio.

heart stands still
- to be very frightened or worried about something
My heart stood still when the truck almost hit our car.

heart to heart
- candid, intimate
Our conversation was heart to heart and we both felt very good afterwords.

heartbeat away from (something)
- the next person to take over someone's position if they die
The prince is a heartbeat away from becoming the next king of his country.

heavy heart
- a feeling of being weighed down with sorrow, a sad feeling
We left the meeting with a heavy heart when we heard that our boss would soon leave the company because of illness.

in one's heart of hearts
- to know that something is true even though you may not want to admit it or believe it
In my heart of hearts I know that I will soon have to change jobs.

know (something) by heart
- to know something perfectly, to have memorized something
The little boy knows many stories by heart.

learn (something) by heart
- to memorize something
The children had to learn the poem by heart.

lose heart
- to feel discouraged because of failure, to lose the hope of success
I tried not to lose heart even though I had failed my driver`s exam for the second time.

near to (someone's) heart
- an idea or something that is important to you and that you care about
The man's model airplane hobby is very near to his heart.

not have the heart to do (something)
- to be unwilling to say or do something that may hurt or upset others
I did not have the heart to tell the woman that soon she may lose her job.

open one`s heart to (someone)
- to talk about one`s feelings honestly, to confide in someone
The woman suddenly opened her heart to me after I began talking to her on the bus.

pour one's heart out (to someone)

- to tell all of one's hopes or fears or feelings to someone
My friend poured her heart out to me when we went to the coffee shop last evening.

search one`s heart/soul
- to study one`s reasons and acts, to try to discover if one has been fair and honest about something
I searched my soul to try and discover why my girlfriend had left me.

set one's heart against (something)

- to turn against something, to become totally against something
From the beginning, my friend set his heart against my proposal for having a birthday party for our teacher.

set one's heart on (something)
- to select something as one's goal
The young runner set his heart on winning the marathon.

sick at heart
- very sad or upset about something
The woman was sick at heart over the illness of her cat.

strike at the heart of (something)
- to do something that damages or destroys the basic idea or way of doing something that is very important to someone or to a group
The decision to change the law struck at the heart of how the people wanted to live.

take heart

- to be encouraged, to be brave
The father took heart in the fact that his son was still going to university even though he was failing most of his courses.

take (something) to heart
- to be strongly affected by something that someone says to you, to take something seriously, to be upset by something
I did not expect my friend to take my criticism to heart when I complained that he was always late.

to one's heart's content
- as much as one wants
The little boy was able to play in the water to his heart's content.

tug at (someone's) heartstrings
- to make someone feel very sad, to make someone feel great sympathy for someone else
Seeing the young boy and his dog tugged at my heartstrings.

warm the cockles of (someone's) heart
- to make someone feel warm and happy
The ending of the movie warmed the cockles of my heart.

way to (someone's) heart
- the best way to please someone or make them like you
The way to my grandfather's heart was through his stomach as he always liked good food.

wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve
- to show one’s feelings openly
The man wore his heart on his sleeve when he talked about his sick son.

win (someone's) heart
- to do nice things for someone to make him or her love you, to have the qualities to make you like something - music or art or a book
The young man won the girl's heart by his kind and caring attitude toward her.

with all one’s heart (and soul)
- with all one's energy and feeling
I tried with all my heart to get my friend a job at my company.

young at heart
- doing things that usually younger people enjoy (usually used for an older person)
The older couple were young at heart and they had much fun together.


Idiom Quizzes - Heart
Choose an idiom to replace the expression in the brackets:
1. The man was (very sad) about his friend's death.
(a) wearing his heart on his sleeve (b) taking heart (c) losing heart (d) sick at heart

2. I had (a serious) talk with my friend about his girlfriend.
(a) a heart-to-heart (b) a young-at-heart (c) a heavy-heart (d) a heart-of-gold

3. The man is beginning to (feel discouraged) because he cannot find a job.
(a) search his heart (b) open his heart (c) lose heart (d) wear his heart on his sleeve

4. My sister (very much wants) a new MP3 player for her birthday.
(a) is breaking her heart for (b) has her heart set on (c) crossed her heart and hoped to die for (d) lost heart for

5. (The boy became very frightened) when he went to see the horror movie.
(a) The boy's heart stood still (b) The boy's heart was in the right place (c) The boy's heart was of stone (d) The boy's heart was of gold

6. The girl had a (feeling of unhappiness) when her boyfriend left her.
(a) big heart (b) change of heart (c) heart of gold (d) heavy heart

7. My friend always (talks openly about his feelings) to me.
(a) breaks his heart (b) opens his heart (c) searches his heart (d) crosses his heart and hopes to die

8. The politician is usually very cold but his recent speech was (very sincere and honest).
(a) after my own heart (b) at heart (c) from the heart (d) a heavy heart

9. I (was encouraged by) the fact that so many people volunteered to help with the charity auction.
(a) took heart from (b) broke my heart by (c) lost heart by (d) searched my heart from

10. The man has a (hard and cold personality).
(a) heart that is in the right place (b) change of heart (c) heart of gold (d) heart of stone




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