plural noun
the deepest feelings; the strongest affections: to tug at one's heartstrings.

1475–85; heart + strings

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World English Dictionary
heartstrings (ˈhɑːtˌstrɪŋz)
pl n
facetious often deep emotions or feelings
[C15: originally referring to the tendons supposed to support the heart]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
The genre is filled with throwbacks, outdated shapes that pluck your
  heartstrings but don't make much sense for modern life.
The film is long but never ponderous, the set pieces are thrilling, and one's
  heartstrings are tugged at all the right places.
These stories that pull at the heartstrings play out in every county in our
They are effective because they can tug on the heartstrings of moms and dads.
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