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From Middle English herth, herthe, from Old English heorþ, from Proto-Germanic *herþaz, from Proto-Indo-European *ker- (heat; fire). Cognate with West Frisian hurd, Dutch haard, German Herd, Swedish härd.



hearth (plural hearths)

  1. A brick, stone or cement floor to a fireplace or oven.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter III, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped ; but he had lost all reckoning of time when he opened them again to find Miss Erroll in furs kneeling on the hearth and heaping kindling on the coals, and her pretty little Alsatian maid beside her, laying a log across the andirons.
  2. An open recess in a wall at the base of a chimney where a fire may be built.
  3. The lowest part of a metallurgical furnace.
  4. A brazier, chafing dish, or firebox.
  5. (figuratively) Home or family life.
  6. (paganism) A household or group following the modern pagan faith of Heathenry.


  • (open recess at the base of a chimney where a fire may be built): fireplace

Derived termsEdit


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