To Your Heart’s Content

Meaning of Idiom ‘To Your Heart’s Content’

To your heart’s content means as much as you want; as long as you want; until you are completely satisfied and happy. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Pare, May.  Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.


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Examples Of Use

“Once you’re done with your schoolwork you can watch TV to your heart’s content,” said Mom.

“The good thing about having your tonsils out is that afterward, you can eat ice cream to your heart’s content.”

“My husband would never move away from the country. He gets to fish and camp to his heart’s content.”

Origin

Used since the 1500s.

Content means a state of satisfaction or peace while heart refers to one’s inner self. This idiom implies doing something until your heart is satisfied, peaceful, and happy. 3Pare, May.  Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.

Shakespeare used the expression often and may have originated it. Examples:

Henry VI, Part II (1593)

“Her sight did ravish but her grace in speech,
Her word clad with wisdoms’ majesty,
Make me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
Such is the fulness of my heart’s content.”

Merchant of Venice, Act III (1596)

Lor. Faire thoughts and happy houres attend on you.
Ieffi. I wish your ladiship all heart’s content.
Por. I thanke you for your wish, and am well pleased.

Troilus and Cressida, Act I (1602)

“Then though my heart’s content firme love doth bear,
Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.”

Letter to Earl of Southampton:

“…if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your Honour to your heart’s content; which I wish may always answer your own wish, and the world’s hopeful expectation…”

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2, 3. Pare, May.  Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.