from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The floor of a fireplace, usually extending into a room and paved with brick, flagstone, or cement.
  • noun A fireplace.
  • noun Family life; the home.
  • noun The lowest part of a blast furnace or cupola, from which the molten metal flows.
  • noun The bottom of a reverberatory furnace, where ore is exposed to the flame.
  • noun The fireplace or brazier of a blacksmith's forge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That part of the floor of a room on which the fire is made, or upon or above which a receptacle for the fire rests: generally a pavement or floor of brick or stone below an opening in the chimney, as in a fireplace.
  • noun The fireside; the domestic circle; the home.
  • noun In metallurgy: The floor in a reverberatory furnace on which the ore is exposed to the flame. See furnace.
  • noun The lowest part of a blast-furnace, through which the metal descends to the crucible. See furnace.
  • noun A bloomery.
  • noun Nautical, the grate and apparatus for cooking on board ship.
  • noun In soldering: An ordinary brazier or chafing-dish containing charcoal.
  • noun An iron box, about 2 feet by 1 foot 6 inches deep, sunk in the middle of a flat iron plate or table, measuring about 4 feet by 3 feet.
  • noun In glass manufacturing See flattening-hearth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The pavement or floor of brick, stone, or metal in a chimney, on which a fire is made; the floor of a fireplace; also, a corresponding part of a stove.
  • noun The house itself, as the abode of comfort to its inmates and of hospitality to strangers; fireside.
  • noun (Metal. & Manuf.) The floor of a furnace, on which the material to be heated lies, or the lowest part of a melting furnace, into which the melted material settles.
  • noun (Metal.) fragments of lead ore ejected from the furnace by the blast.
  • noun tax formerly laid in England on hearths, each hearth (in all houses paying the church and poor rates) being taxed at two shillings; -- called also chimney money, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A brick, stone or cement floor to a fireplace or oven.
  • noun An open recess in a wall at the base of a chimney where a fire may be built.
  • noun The lowest part of a metallurgical furnace.
  • noun A symbol for home or family life.
  • noun paganism A household or group following the modern pagan faith of Heathenry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an area near a fireplace (usually paved and extending out into a room)
  • noun home symbolized as a part of the fireplace
  • noun an open recess in a wall at the base of a chimney where a fire can be built


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English herth, from Old English heorth; see ker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English heorþ, from Proto-Germanic *herþaz, from Proto-Indo-European *ker- (“heat; fire”). Cognate with Dutch haard, German Herd, Swedish härd.


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  • Behind the hearth is a recess in the wall to contain cooking utensils.

    High Albania Mary Edith 1909

  • The walk-in hearth or settle fireplace (with a bench at either side of the hearth) was common.

    Gutenber-e Help Page 2005

  • Her face was wrapped in the folds of her cloak, but I heard her whisper, as if to herself: 'No! no! That old hearth is not a lodestone.

    The Filigree Ball 1903

  • Time and tide wait for no man; brains may throb, and hearts may ache or break, but the world rolls on just the same, for weal and woe, whether the grim skeleton that comes an unbidden guest on so many a man's hearth is shrouded in elegance or bare in all its appalling hideousness.

    Hagar's Daughter: A Story of Southern Caste Prejudice Pauline Elizabeth 1902

  • His fine sonnets to Liberty, and indeed, all his pieces which have any reference to political interest, remind me of the spirit in which Schiller has conceived the character of William Tell, a calm, single hearted herdsman of the hills, breaking forth into fiery and indignant eloquence, when the sanctity of his hearth is invaded.

    Memorials of Mrs. Hemans, with Illustrations of Her Literary Character from Her Private Correspondence 1836

  • I am never domesticated in lodgings the hearth is unhallowed & the

    Letter 168 1796

  • In other words, replace the word hearth/home with WORK, and I agree.

    iPod, Kindle, Facebook — and a Nomad Called Me 2009

  • But now I know these things, which are things I have learnedin the school of the ruined hearth, which is held in both our rooms, where a fire sharedis the cheapest fire of all.

    Poem of the week: A Fire Shared by Peter Didsbury 2010

  • I have one small area that I call the hearth room.

    The Plain House - Outside Touches 2008

  • A wood fire in the hearth is a little household sun.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009


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  • I'm curious.... is there an etymological connection to the word "heart"?

    January 12, 2010