sick at heart

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1, by William Shakespeare:

Francisco: For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold, / And I am sick at heart.

Pronunciation[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

sick at heart (not generally comparable, comparative sicker at heart, superlative sickest at heart)

  1. (idiomatic) Despairing, distressed, or anxious.
    • 1826, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, The Last Man, ch. 5:
      I became sick at heart. My countenance was painted with the hues of ill health and vexation.
    • 1853, Charles Dickens, A Child's History of England, Ch. 12—Henry the Second:
      Sick at heart, wearied out by the falsehood of his sons, and almost ready to lie down and die, the unhappy King who had so long stood firm, began to fail.
    • 1919, Ralph Connor, The Major, ch. 19:
      Sick at heart and oppressed with his feeling of loneliness and impotence, he could only look at her in speechless misery.
    • 1963 December 13, "Playwrights: Cynicism Uncongealed," Time (retrieved 5 Dec 2018):
      So we weep for two or three years more, very quietly, and then one day, too sick at heart, we die, with no fuss, leaving as little trace on earth as a bird's flight across the sky.
    • 2007 August 20, Jeff Zeleny, "At veterans convention, Clinton and McCain differ on Iraq," New York Times (retrieved 5 Dec 2018):
      "As we all know, the war in Iraq has not gone well [] ," said McCain, an Arizona Republican. "I understand that, of course. I, too, have been made sick at heart by the many mistakes made by civilian and military commanders and the terrible price we have paid for them."