break someone's heart(redirected from heartbreak)
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break (one's) heart
1. To betray, destroy, or abandon one's love, as by ending a romantic relationship. I know Adam broke your heart, but there are lots of guys out there who would treat you well. To think that she would cheat on Tom after 20 years of marriage. I can never forgive her for breaking his heart like that.
2. To cause one a feeling of intense sadness, regret, or pity. It really breaks my heart having to fire such talented employees, but there's no way the company will survive if I don't. That poor, skittish cat just breaks my heart—I can't believe someone abandoned her!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
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.
break someone's heartoverwhelm someone with sadness.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
break someone's heart, to
To make someone very unhappy, to cause great grief. The expression goes back at least to Chaucer’s time, and is echoed by poets in just about every era. “But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue,” says Hamlet (1.2). Today the cliché is sometimes spoken ironically: “You break my heart,” meaning “I really don’t feel sorry for you.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer