What does the idiom "put one's heart and soul into sth" mean?

The expression put one's heart and soul into sth is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the put one's heart and soul into sth idiom.

Meaning of "put one's heart and soul into sth"


The phrase “put one’s heart and soul into something” is usually used to communicate the idea that someone is devoting a great amount of effort, enthusiasm and determination to a given task or situation. It implies that the person is investing a substantial amount of energy and enthusiasm and that they are experiencing a high level of emotional investment. In other words, they are not just “going through the motions” but truly putting their all into the endeavor.


The phrase is thought to have originated in the form of a Latin proverb, “cor et anima,” which translates to mean “heart and soul.” The phrase is thought to have been introduced to English in the 1500s and been used regularly since the 1800s. In the 1800s the phrase began to appear frequently in religious texts, particularly in reference to prayer, but it came to be more widely used in the 20th century, in a broader context.


The phrase is often used as a compliment, to acknowledge the effort or dedication of another individual. It is also frequently used in a motivational sense, to encourage someone to “put their heart and soul” into something in order to achieve greater success. It can also be used to say that someone has performed a task to the best of their ability, or to express disappointment or regret in a situation.

Example Sentences

  • I really put my heart and soul into that presentation, but I still didn’t get the job.
  • He always puts his heart and soul into everything he does—that’s why he’s so successful.
  • If you want to be successful, you have to put your heart and soul into it.
  • She put her heart and soul into the project, so it was a great success.
  • I always give one hundred percent and put my heart and soul into whatever I do.

The meanings of the words in the "put one's heart and soul into sth" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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