not have the heart

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not have the heart

To not have the emotional resolve (to do something); to be unable to do something, especially that which is or seems callous or unsympathetic. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't love her anymore. How could you fire someone the day after their father died? I wouldn't have the heart.
See also: have, heart, not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not have the heart to do something

Fig. to be too compassionate to do something. I just don't have the heart to tell him the bad news.
See also: have, heart, not
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not have the heart to

Be unable to bring oneself to say or do something, as in He didn't have the heart to tell her the cat had died. [Mid-1600s] Also see have a heart.
See also: have, heart, not
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

not have the ˈheart (to do something)

not be able or willing to do something which could hurt somebody else: I didn’t have the heart to take the money from him — it was all he had.
See also: have, heart, not
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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