eat heart out

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eat (one's) heart out

1. To feel great sadness. I feel just awful for Mary—she's been eating her heart out ever since she found out she was rejected by her top-choice school.
2. To be very jealous. In this usage, the phrase is often said as an imperative and sometimes mentions a famous person (when the speaker comically claims to be more talented than that person). Eat your heart out—I got tickets to the concert and you didn't! Look at how well I dance now—Gene Kelly, eat your heart out!
See also: eat, heart, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

eat (one's) heart out

1. Fig. to grieve; to be sorrowful. (Fixed order.) She has been eating her heart out over that jerk ever since he ran away with Sally. Don't eat your heart out. You really didn't like him that much, did you?
2. Fig. to suffer from envy or jealousy. (Usually a command.) Yeah, the reward money is all mine. Eat your heart out! Eat your heart out! I won it fair and square.
See also: eat, heart, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

eat (one's) heart out

1. To feel bitter anguish or grief.
2. To be consumed by jealousy.
See also: eat, heart, out
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

eat one's heart out, to

To worry excessively. “Eating our hearts for weariness and sorrow” appeared in Homer’s Odyssey (ca. 850 b.c.). Presumably here, as in later usage, eating one’s heart is analogous to consuming one’s inmost self with worry or anxiety. Later English writers, including John Lyly and Sir Francis Bacon, ascribed the saying to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who also used it (“Eat not thy heart,” Praecentum, ca. 525 b.c.). A modern slangy variant invoking a different feeling is the spoken imperative eat your heart out, meaning “doesn’t that make you jealous.” A translation from the Yiddish es dir oys s’harts, it originated in America in the 1960s and was popularized by the television show Laugh-In.
See also: eat, heart, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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