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From Middle High German herze, from Old High German herza, from Proto-Germanic *hertô (heart), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱḗr (heart). Cognate with Dutch hart, English heart, Danish hjerte, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌹𐍂𐍄𐍉 (hairto).


  • IPA(key): /hɛʁts/, [hɛʁts], [hɛɐ̯ts]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Homophone: Hertz


Herz n (genitive Herzens, plural Herzen, diminutive Herzchen n)

  1. heart
  2. (card games) hearts
  3. sweetheart, darling

Usage notes[edit]

Herz has irregular singular declension and is the only noun of its kind.

  • The genitive singular generally takes the ending -ens: des Herzens.
  • The dative singular traditionally takes -en: dem Herzen. This form is still the only accepted standard form in many—more or less fixed—expressions, such as im Herzen, von Herzen, zu Herzen, Operation am offenen Herzen (open-heart surgery), mit halbem Herzen (half-heartedly), and more.
Otherwise, the forms dem Herzen and dem Herz are both acceptable. The latter is predominant in speech, while the former remains the more established form in writing. — But only the bare form is common for Herz as a card suit or a term of endearment, as well as in the phrase mit Herz (good-hearted).


Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Herz in Duden online