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  1. Anatomy. a hollow, pumplike organ of blood circulation, composed mainly of rhythmically contractile smooth muscle, located in the chest between the lungs and slightly to the left and consisting of four chambers: a right atrium that receives blood returning from the body via the superior and inferior vena cavae, a right ventricle that pumps the blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs for oxygenation, a left atrium that receives the oxygenated blood via the pulmonary veins and passes it through the mitral valve, and a left ventricle that pumps the oxygenated blood, via the aorta, throughout the body.

  2. Zoology.

    1. the homologous structure in other vertebrates, consisting of four chambers in mammals and birds and three chambers in reptiles and amphibians.

    2. the analogous contractile structure in invertebrate animals, as the tubular heart of the spider and earthworm.

  3. the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion: In your heart you know I'm an honest man.

  4. the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect: His head told him not to fall in love, but his heart had the final say.

  5. capacity for sympathy; feeling; affection: His heart moved him to help the needy.

  6. spirit, courage, or enthusiasm: His heart sank when he walked into the room and saw their gloomy faces.

  7. the innermost or central part of anything: Notre Dame stands in the very heart of Paris.

  8. the vital or essential part; core: the heart of the matter.

  9. the breast or bosom: to clasp a person to one's heart.

  10. a person (used especially in expressions of praise or affection): dear heart.

  11. a conventional shape with rounded sides meeting in a point at the bottom and curving inward to a cusp at the top.

  12. a red figure or pip of this shape on a playing card.

  13. a card of the suit bearing such figures.

  14. hearts.

    1. (used with a singular or plural verb) the suit so marked: Hearts is trump. Hearts are trump.

    2. (used with a singular verb) a game in which the players try to avoid taking tricks containing this suit.

Click on a card to learn more

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