Definitions

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

Etymologies

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.

Examples

Comments

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

    January 12, 2010