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[hahrt-eyk] /ˈhɑrtˌeɪk/
emotional pain or distress; sorrow; grief; anguish.
Origin of heartache
before 1000; Middle English hert ache, Old English heort ece; see heart, ache
Related forms
heartaching, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heartache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He looked at his watch and was surprised at the hour, for he had nothing but a heartache to show for so much time.

  • True, there were hot days and restless nights, weary feet, and now and then a heartache.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • So John's marriage took place without his brother's presence, and John missed him and had a heartache about it.

    The Measure of a Man Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • War and suffering and heartache and trouble seemed a long, long way off.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • In fact, it was just here that, in spite of the heartache, each found an odd satisfaction.

    Across the Years Eleanor H. Porter
British Dictionary definitions for heartache


intense anguish or mental suffering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heartache

Old English heortece, in the sense of a physical pain; c.1600 in sense of "anguish of mind;" from heart + ache. Old English did, however, have heartsarnes "grief," literally "heart-soreness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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