What does the idiom "take sth to heart" mean?

Are you using the idiom take sth to heart but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the take sth to heart idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "take sth to heart"


The phrase “to take something to heart” is a popular idiom in English used to describe someone who takes a comment or event deeply to heart, usually in a negative way. It means to be greatly affected by a certain thing, usually a statement or event, in such a way that it shapes one’s own thoughts and emotions. This idiom can be used in a variety of situations and is often used today to describe a person’s response to criticism or stress.


The origin of the phrase “to take something to heart” dates back to the 12th century. It originated from the Latin phrase “cogita ad cor”, which translates to “think in the heart”. In other words, it was used to indicate that a person should think deeply about an issue or situation as if it were from their own heart. Throughout time, this phrase has evolved and adapted to fit the modern vernacular and is still used in today’s English.


This idiom is used to describe someone who is greatly affected by a situation or statement, usually in a negative way. It can be used to describe a person’s reaction to a criticism or to describe a person’s deep emotional response to a certain event. It is most often used as a warning to someone to not take a certain statement or event too seriously.

Example Sentences

  • I know you’re taking her words to heart, but don’t let it get you down.
  • He had the tendency to take everything to heart and let people’s words affect him deeply.
  • You must not take it to heart – it was only a joke!

The meanings of the words in the "take sth to heart" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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