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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n heartstrings your deepest feelings of love and compassion "many adoption cases tug at the heartstrings"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • heartstrings Nerves or tendons supposed to brace and sustain the heart; hence, strongest affections; most intense feelings of any kind.
    • ***


Tug at the heartstrings - f something tugs at the heartstrings, it makes you feel sad or sympathetic towards it.


In literature:

These apparently calm, undemonstrative natures, that show a quiet exterior to the world, may have a fire consuming their heartstrings.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
He turned back instead and went to bed to lie wakeful until dawn with something new and horrible gnawing at his heartstrings.
"Kenny" by Leona Dalrymple
The thought of parting with this treasure tugged at the man's very heartstrings.
"Jewel's Story Book" by Clara Louise Burnham
It wrung my heartstrings, I assure you.
"The Disentanglers" by Andrew Lang
The minor note, the dying fall of the innocent voices, tugged at his heartstrings.
"The Black Douglas" by S. R. Crockett
When men act in a crowd, their heartstrings are prone to vibrate in unison.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham
I'd like to see a woman take you by the heartstrings and wring them till you screamed with pain.
"The Land of Promise" by D. Torbett
We are all, as I said, bound by the heartstrings in a common interest.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864" by Various
A fear that Philip had never before known gripped his heartstrings now.
"The Stowaway Girl" by Louis Tracy
A daughter's tender heartstrings are too sensitive for such stoic touch.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
Let me inform you, love, you got my old heartstrings buddy in some decided doo-doo.
"Life Blood" by Thomas Hoover
But no ties of affection will strain at my heartstrings.
"Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist" by Alexander Berkman
There was the old place before his eyes, and a something tugging at his heartstrings to draw him back.
"Sweet Mace" by George Manville Fenn
Music in Alaska brings the thought of home; and it is the thought of home that plays upon the heartstrings of the North.
"Alaska" by Ella Higginson
Lydie could not help noting with a slight tightening of her heartstrings with what alacrity he obeyed.
"Petticoat Rule" by Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
Their bagpipes made him drunk with emotion; they played on his heartstrings and called up centuries of passionate feelings.
"A Song of a Single Note" by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
He scored instant success, and the boys' heartstrings were in his hands.
"Charles Lewis Cocke" by William Robert Lee Smith
A tightening at our heartstrings told us so.
"From the Oak to the Olive" by Julia Ward Howe
And Miss Sibson felt a tug at her own heartstrings.
"Chippinge Borough" by Stanley J. Weyman
Nature took a hand in the snapping of the heartstrings and scolded and wept copiously.
"With the Battle Fleet" by Franklin Matthews

In poetry:

To the Weaver Maid's
Slender cords
You may compare them, yet
Your heartstrings will be
The first to break I'd say
"To the Weaver Maid's" by Ise
I fain, in this perpetual moving-on,
Would see the shadowy type of stabler things;
Old loves renew'd, old victories rewon,
Old chords restruck upon the old heartstrings!
"Moving On" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
And seeing a London seamstress's gray fate,
He of a human heartstring made a thread,
And stitched him such a royal robe of state
That Eastern Kings are poorlier habited.
"Thomas Hood" by William Watson
He gloomily sat by the wall,
As gaily she danced with them all.
Her laughter's light spell
On every one fell;
His heartstrings were near unto rending,
But this there was none comprehending.
"Secret Love" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
Here the rock and the sea and the tall waving pine
Enchant deep the senses,--subduing, sublime;
Yet stronger than these is the spell that hath power
To sweep o'er the heartstrings in memory's hour.
"Lines, On Visiting Pine Grove Cemetery" by Mary Baker Eddy
They, whom thy love hath guarded long;
They, whom thy care bath rendered strong
In love and faith,
Their heartstrings round thy heart entwine,
They are, they ever will be, thine
In life -- in death.
"India To England" by Nizamat Jung

In news:

Blues, Folk, Soul, Jazz, Underground Rap, Independent Rock 'n Roll, anything and everything that pulls the heartstrings on the marionettes that are our collective soul.
Reese will fine-tune your heartstrings: The Paws Report 7-11-12.
Teen Mom 2 's Tuesday episode tugged on its' viewers heartstrings, as one of Leah 's twins, Ali, is suffering complications as she develops, unable to close her hands or bend her feet properly.
Ann Romney's miscarriage news plays heartstring politics.
Surprise tugs on band director's heartstrings, cries when rewarded cash for kindness.
Heartstrings in Clinton to host 'Art with a Heart' on Oct 5.
On Friday, Oct 5, 6-10 pm Heartstrings, located on Main St in Clinton will host "Art With A Heart".
Reese will fine-tune your heartstrings : The Paws Report 7-11-12.
Tractor Pulls at Heartstrings .
'Chimpanzee' tugs a little too hard at heartstrings .
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Estate Black Series Expands Black Portfolio, Tugs at Our Heartstrings .
TD for OSU's Staley tugs at heartstrings .
'The Color Purple' hammers away at the heartstrings .
PEF ad goes for throat instead of heartstrings .
Of Stem Cells and Heartstrings .