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

(redirected from tugs 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 ?
POLICE are warning social media users to stay away from a cyber sting which tugs at the heartstrings.
A MOVING stop-motion fable that tugs at the heartstrings.
And there are those that just tugs at the heartstrings like University of the Philippines' inspiring, yet heartbreaking, campaign.
Have your tissues at the ready as Holly Willoughby (above) hosts another emotional show that tugs at the heartstrings.
5 WALL-E (2008) Robots Wall-E and Eve steal the spotlight in Andrew Stanton's Pixar animation, which tugs at the heartstrings.
Sotoudeh has become a prominent symbol of resistance against the regime, in part because of the hunger strikes she has undergone, but also because the imprisonment of the mother of a four-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter tugs at the heartstrings.
The music subtly tugs at the heartstrings and the incidents (such as the thief scene with Williams) smack the film's theme straight across your face.
Luckily, we have corporate charity donations to assuage the collective conscience, I can't tell you how much this tugs at the heartstrings.
Adam Stafford tugs at the heartstrings as Roxie's neglected husband Amos, especially as he sings Mister Cellophane, but Wendy Lee Purdy just didn't have enough pizzazz as Mama Morton.
CRITIC: Karen McLauchlan, from Norton REVIEW: Beautifully shot and well worth a watch, the love story of The Young Victoria and Prince Albert is a royal romance that really tugs at the heartstrings.
His rapport with Parvin tugs at the heartstrings but it was his remarkably rapid costume change in one of the numbers that stole the show and achieved a euphoric round of applause.
Father-of-two Mr Stevens, aged 42, added: "Most of us have got young families so the NSPCC means a lot to us and to hear the stories about what can happen to children tugs at the heartstrings.
Blond, with a pudding-basin haircut, he is such a natural actor that his performance tugs at the heartstrings when he talks to his dead mum, sees his dancing dreams crumble in the chauvinistic Elliot household, or plays with his gay friend, Michael, acted by Ryan Longbottom with great aplomb and humor.
The very mention of his name tugs at the heartstrings of every Tyne-Wear fan who remembers his contribution as a player in Newcastle's 1955 success and as manager of Sunderland in that unforgettable 1973 Final triumph over Leeds United.
The lone rifleman on the plains with a large bore "buffalo" gun and shooting sticks tugs at the heartstrings of anyone who has seen a Frederic Remington painting.