tear/tug/pull at/on (one's)/the heartstrings

(redirected from pulled at the heartstrings)

tear/tug/pull at/on (one's)/the heartstrings

To elicit strong feelings of sympathy or fondness. I don't know why, but that piece of music always tears at my heartstrings. That documentary really pulls on the heartstrings—you'll want to adopt all of those kids after watching it.
See also: heartstring, on, pull, tear, tug

tug at the heartstrings

or

tug at your heartstrings

COMMON If someone or something tugs at the heartstrings or tugs at your heartstrings, they cause you to feel pity or sadness. Miss Cookson knows exactly how to tug at readers' heartstrings. Note: You can use verbs such as pull and pluck instead of tug. Unlike many charity campaigns, it doesn't pull at the heartstrings. Note: You can also omit the word at. McLachlan tugs the heartstrings with a succession of ballads. Note: Heartstrings is used in many other structures and expressions with similar meanings. This is not a movie that aims for the heartstrings. Note: In medieval times, it was believed that `heartstrings' were tendons which supported the heart.
See also: heartstring, tug

tug at somebody’s ˈheartstrings

make somebody feel strong emotions of sadness and pity: Advertisers often use babies and children to tug at your heartstrings.
See also: heartstring, tug
References in periodicals archive ?
Katey Mossman The heartbreaking story of a Newmains woman whose brother was battered so severely in London that he suffered a brain injury pulled at the heartstrings for many readers.
As I took part in the torch lighting, in full traditional Korean dress, I saw how the torch relay pulled at the heartstrings of both Korean and non-Korean spectators around the globe, and how it aimed to spread the Korean value of filial piety throughout the world.
With the series now over after eight seasons, the photo really pulled at the heartstrings of fans.
Lambert pulled at the heartstrings on the ballad, "Over You,'' inspired by the death of husband Blake Shelton's older brother when he was 14.
Jan said: "At the time when Bobby came along, the world had woken up to just how loyal dogs could be and the legend surrounding the little dog pulled at the heartstrings.
I think their efforts really pulled at the heartstrings of the charity workers who came in and talked to them about the Trust.
It pulled at the heartstrings of this disillusioned former Presbyterian elder who now takes up pew space at the local Baptist Church.
MARTIN JOL pulled at the heartstrings of the Spurs faithful last night as he promised Tottenham: "I want to be the second Bill Nicholson.