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From Middle English hertles, herteles, from Old English heortlēas (without courage; listless), equivalent to heart +‎ -less.


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heartless (comparative more heartless, superlative most heartless)

  1. Without a heart; specifically, without feeling, emotion, or concern for others; uncaring.
    His heartless actions and cold manner left her saddened and feeling alone.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      Mr. Burns is similarly perfectly cast as a heartless capitalist willing to do anything for a quick buck, even if it means endangering the lives of those around him and Marge elegantly rounds out the main cast as a good, pure-hearted and overly indulgent woman who sees the big, good heart (literally and metaphorically) of a monstrous man-brute.
  2. (dated) Lacking courage or enthusiasm.

Derived termsEdit