break (one's) heart

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break (one's) heart

To cause one to feel great sadness. This phrase is often said about the end of a romantic relationship. I know Adam broke your heart, but there are lots of guys out there who would treat you well. That poor, skittish cat just breaks my heart—I can't believe someone abandoned her!
See also: break, heart

break someone's heart

Fig. to cause someone great emotional pain. It just broke my heart when Tom ran away from home. Sally broke John's heart when she refused to marry him.
See also: break, heart

break someone's heart

Cause severe emotional pain or grief. For example, If the verdict is guilty, it will break her mother's heart. This hyperbole has appeared in works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and George Bernard Shaw, among others. In noun form it appears as both a broken heart and heartbreak (Shaw wrote a play entitled Heartbreak House, 1913). Today it also is used ironically, as in You only scored an A-minus on the final? That breaks my heart! [Late 1300s]
See also: break, heart

break your heart

COMMON
1. If you break someone's heart, you make them very unhappy by ending a relationship with them or making it clear that you do not love them. Note: The heart is traditionally regarded as the centre of the emotions. She left him later that year and broke his heart. Note: You can also say that someone has a broken heart when they feel very sad because a relationship has ended. If you're a poet, you get some good poetry out of a broken heart. Note: You can also say that someone is heartbroken or is broken-hearted. Mary was broken-hearted when he left her.
2. If a fact or a situation breaks your heart, it makes you very sad. Note: The heart is traditionally regarded as the centre of the emotions. It broke my heart to see this woman suffer the way she did. Note: You can also say that someone is heartbroken or is broken-hearted if they are very upset about something. He looked heartbroken that Momma hadn't gotten more excited over his announcement. Little Craig Malcolmson is broken-hearted by the theft of his treasured toy.
See also: break, heart

break someone's heart

overwhelm someone with sadness.
See also: break, heart

break somebody’s ˈheart

make somebody feel extremely unhappy: That boy is breaking his mother’s heart with his wild ways.It’s a job I would like, but it won’t break my heart if I don’t get it. ▶ ˈheartbreak noun: He causes his mother nothing but heartbreak. ˈheartbreaking, ˈheartbroken adj.: a heartbreaking storyWe were heartbroken by the news.
See also: break, heart

break (someone's) heart

To disappoint or dispirit someone severely.
See also: break, heart
References in classic literature ?
Those allusions to your lonely life are so dreadful, my dear, that I have destroyed your letter; it is enough to break one's heart only to look at it.
Christmas is the most-anticipated occasion for all those who celebrate, and the thought of not being able to be with the family, especially with the children, on the eve of the celebration, would definitely break one's heart. Earlier I was worried thinking that I would miss the fun and laughter, but with further weighing of my sentiments, I realised that Christmas is not primarily in the frantic holiday rush and merriment, but in the stillness of the hearts of those who believe...
Bullock said that life was full of painful moments, unexpected moments, and things that will break one's heart and that in between those moments, there are times when one savors.
And Bernard White as Afghan warlord Abdullah Khan has a twinkle in his eye and an elegance about him that is destined to break one's heart. John Procaccino, as Walter Barnes, Warnock's CIA colleague, must have spent weeks at Langley learning how to impersonate an agency bureaucrat flawlessly, and Robert Hogan, as Sen.
The father-in-law's recognition of her just treatment and her hospitable reception contrary to his own children would break one's heart into tears.
An old burro named Jerry got a new pal because llamas are fickle critters that can break one's heart.