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What Does It Mean If Something Is "Close to Your Heart"?

Jim B.
Updated: May 23, 2024

"Close to your heart" is an English idiom describing something or someone dearly loved. It can be used to describe anything that has earned a great deal of affection from a person, often through familiarity with it over time. The meaning of this phrase comes from the fact that the heart is considered the organ of the human body that is the source of all love and affection. As such, anyone or anything that resides close to it will be on the receiving end of those feelings.

There are many ways to describe the feeling of love in the English language. Many expressions have come to symbolize love, which is often considered the most powerful emotion for human beings to experience. Idiomatic expressions can provide a person different ways to say similar things, which is useful when pondering a subject as popular as love. These idioms often stray from the literal meaning of their words. One of the most common phrases used to show love and affection is the idiom "close to your heart."

This phrase often refers to someone of whom another person is particularly fond. For example, consider the sentence, "I never knew that Chad was so close to your heart; you two are really falling for each other." The implication here is that the speaker is suggesting that Chad is dearly loved by the person in question, since he resides, figuratively, in a position that implies great affection.

In many cases, people use this phrase to describe some non-living thing that has become particularly beloved to them. An example of this might be the sentence, "You've shown by all of your charity and fund-raising efforts that fighting cancer is something that is very close to your heart." This sentence is suggesting that the person being addressed is genuinely passionate about the cause of fighting cancer. The phrase is versatile enough to include both people and things as possible subjects.

Another phrase similar to this idiom is "dear to your heart," as in, "We always knew that little boy was very dear to your heart." In either case, the idea is the same. Anything that has found a place close or dear to someone's heart is clearly something that means a great deal to them. Obviously, no person or cause can literally get "close to your heart," but, like all idioms, the literal meaning of the phrase is the source for its colorful and expressive nature.

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Jim B.
By Jim B.
Freelance writer - Jim Beviglia has made a name for himself by writing for national publications and creating his own successful blog. His passion led to a popular book series, which has gained the attention of fans worldwide. With a background in journalism, Beviglia brings his love for storytelling to his writing career where he engages readers with his unique insights.
Discussion Comments
By anon996971 — On Nov 01, 2016

Thank you for this article. Now I know really what it means when he said to me I am special and dear to his heart. Many thanks. Koala.

By turquoise — On Aug 02, 2013

@burcidi-- Not at all. You can basically use this idiom whenever you're talking about something you love. It could be a hobby, a music band or a book.

The point is that you have an emotional attachment to that thing or person. It's closer to your heart than other things, and has a special place in your life.

By burcidi — On Aug 01, 2013

@turkay1-- So if I want to use this idiom, do I have to be talking about a living thing, like a person or an animal?

By candyquilt — On Jul 31, 2013

"Close to your heart" doesn't always imply a romantic love. I use the idiom all the time when referring to family members or pets. For example, I love my entire family, but my mom is particularly close to my heart. I also say this about my cat. I have a dog, two cats and a parakeet. But my one cat is the closest to my heart. She's a sweetheart.

Jim B.
Jim B.
Freelance writer - Jim Beviglia has made a name for himself by writing for national publications and creating his own...
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