sick at heart

sick at heart

Filled with a deeply unpleasant emotion, such as grief, remorse, dejection, etc. I felt sick at heart to think that I may have contributed to her death in some way. Poor Tom's been sick at heart ever since his mother died.
See also: heart, sick

*sick at heart

Fig. distressed and depressed. (*Typically: be ~; become ~; make someone ~.) I became sick at heart just looking at all the homeless children.
See also: heart, sick

sick at heart

Grieving, very disappointed, dejected, as in We were sick at heart when we learned of her predicament. This idiom, which transfers heart disease to unhappiness, was first recorded in 1581.
See also: heart, sick

sick at heart

Deeply depressed and unhappy. This term equates emotional misery with physical illness of the heart, the seat of emotions. It has been used since at least the sixteenth century, and appears both in this guise and as the adjective heartsick (John Skolton used it in Magnyfycence, 1526, “Yet I am not harte seke”).
See also: heart, sick
References in classic literature ?
I turned sick at heart when the question occurred to me, and when I felt self- reproachfully that it was asked too late.
Paul Ford was sick at heart. Month by month, for a year past, conditions in the parish under him had been growing worse and worse; until it seemed that now, turn which way he would, he encountered only wrangling, backbiting, scandal, and jealousy.
Adrienne felt sick at heart. Want of nourishment had lessened her energies, and here came a blow to all her golden visions that was near overcoming her.
He felt sick at heart. He found that it was easy to make a heroic gesture, but hard to abide by its results.
But under the mockery she felt that he was right; and she was very sick at heart for Leslie.
And small wonder it was that the Virgin yielded herself to his arms, as they danced dance after dance, and was sick at heart at the knowledge that he found nothing in her more than a good friend and an excellent dancer.
He had been ill, wayworn, sick at heart, still he had kept forward; but now his strength and his stubbornness were exhausted.
You are chilled and galled, sick at heart, overcome by excess of the emotions which but one hour's liberty has produced in you.
It was the same with Jurgis, who consigned the unfit to destruction, while going about all day sick at heart because of his poor old father, who was wandering somewhere in the yards begging for a chance to earn his bread.
After that, I took the tin off myself, and hammered at it with the mast till I was worn out and sick at heart, whereupon Harris took it in hand.
Kate was too sick at heart, after the rough jostling she had already had with the world, and really cared too little at the moment what fate was reserved for her, to make any objection.
It was at last settled that they should pay the farmer two shillings, and his man one shilling; and so the matter ended, to the unspeakable relief of Tom, who hadn't been able to say a word, being sick at heart at the idea of what the Doctor would think of him; and now the whole party of boys marched off down the footpath towards Rugby.
Anxious in good truth, and sick at heart! The listener held the door of his hiding-place open with his hand, and closely watched her son.
Then he sprang on to his chariot and bade the charioteer drive him to the ships, for he was sick at heart.
Personally, I see difficulties in the way, and feel sick at heart at the mere prospect.