heartstrings

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From heart +‎ strings.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

heartstrings (plural only)

  1. (obsolete, anatomy) The tendons once thought to brace the heart. [15th-19th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, I.iii.2.4:
      The midriff and heart-strings do burn and beat very fearfully, and when this vapour or fume is stirred, flieth upward, the heart itself beats […].
  2. (figuratively) One's deepest emotions or inner feelings. [from 16th c.]
  3. (anatomy) The cord-like tendons that connect the papillary muscles to the tricuspid valve and the mitral valve in the heart.
    • 2002, Beryl Stretch, BTEC National Health Studies
      These are the so-called heartstrings or chordae tendineae.
    • 2014, Crissy Shreve, BMom:
      As a result, one or more of his chordae tendineae, or heartstrings, ruptured.

Synonyms[edit]

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