absence makes the heart grow fonder

Cultural Dictionary

Absence makes the heart grow fonder definition


Persons, places, or things become dearer to us when they are absent.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

absence makes the heart grow fonder

Separation intensifies love, as in After a year in another country she accepted his proposal, so I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder, or, used ironically, The boss leaves earlier every day; oh well, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Although versions of this saying date from Roman times, it only became popular after Thomas Haynes Bayly used it as the last line of a song in The Isle of Beauty (1850). The opposite sentiment is expressed by familiarity breeds contempt.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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