Home Is Where The Heart Is – Definition & Meaning

15.06.24 Proverbs Time to read: 6min

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Sayings and proverbs offer timeless wisdom, encapsulating profound truths in just a few simple words. One such adage, “home is where the heart is,” underscores the emotional essence of belonging. It reminds us that sometimes home is not a room with four walls, but rather the shared gaze and synchronized heartbeats of those we love, highlighting our truest sense of home.

Definition: “Home is where the heart is”

The proverb “home is where the heart is” implies that one’s true sense of belonging and emotional comfort is found in the place where they feel most loved, secure, and connected. It suggests that the feeling of “being home” does not necessarily assume a physical space but is instead rooted in the emotional connections and affections that one holds dear.

The following examples will demonstrate the sense of belonging conveyed by the proverb and provide scenarios that help clarify the meaning of “home is where the heart is:”


  • Finding solace and happiness in the presence of close friends.
  • Returning to family for comfort after a long trip away.
  • Creating a cozy atmosphere anywhere with cherished memories and loved ones.

These examples illustrate a multitude of situations showcasing the meaning of the proverb “home is where the heart is” by portraying emotional actions or situations. They convey a subjective truth about the importance of emotional connections and relationships in defining our sense of home and belonging.

Explanation of the visual meaning

The phrase “home is where the heart is” embodies a profound truth about the essence of what makes a place truly feel like home. At its core, it suggests that home isn’t necessarily a physical place, but where you feel most loved and cherished. It’s about the emotional bonds and relationships that make you feel like home, rather than the structure or location itself.

For many, home is closely tied to family or those we choose as family. This interpretation emphasizes that the presence of loved ones can turn any place into a home.

Another perspective is, that home is linked to memories and nostalgia, often tied to a childhood home or a place with significant personal history. It conveys the idea that home is where one’s most cherished moments are, making it a repository of personal history and emotional resonance.

Moreover, for people who move frequently, home might represent a connection to cultural identity or heritage rather than a specific geographic location. It’s about maintaining one’s roots and a sense of belonging to a culture or community, regardless of where they are in the world.


How to use it

This proverbial phrase is used to express a sense or feeling of belonging, rather than describing a specific location. It can be employed in a multitude of contexts, as shown below:

This phrase may be used when you want to express that being with loved ones or family gives you a sense of home, regardless of your physical location.


Even though we’ve moved across the country, home is where the heart is, and as long as we’re together, I’m at home.

If discussing personal identity or where one feels most at peace, this phrase can highlight the importance of emotional connections over physical places.


I lived in three cities, but home is where the heart is, and for me, that’s wherever I can be my true self.

In times of change, such as moving to a new city or starting a new chapter in life, the phrase can be a comforting reminder that home isn’t just about a physical space.


Home is where the heart is – it’s not just about where you are, but who you are with and where your heart finds peace.

When thinking about the past or a childhood home for instance, this phrase can evoke deep emotional connections and memories that once have been made there.


Looking back at my childhood home, I now realize that home is where the heart is.

In journals, blogs, or personal essays, this phrase can serve as a starting point for reflections on what home means to you, exploring your definitions and experiences of home.


While trying to explain what home is, I’ve realized, that home is where the heart is.

Regardless of how you choose to use it, “home is where the heart is” is a powerful expression that resonates with many people’s experiences and emotions concerning home, belonging, and identity.

Origin and history

In exploring the origin and history of the phrase “home is where the heart is,” it’s essential to consider various interpretations and possible sources. Some people believe the adage may trace its origins to the term “hearth,” which refers to the floor of a fireplace. Under this interpretation, the phrase could be understood as “home is where the meals are cooked,” highlighting the heart’s role as the heart of the home in historical contexts. The hearth was central (literally in the heart of the house) to the home’s daily life, providing warmth, light, and a place to cook meals. Thus symbolizing the gathering place for family and embodying the emotional essence of a warm home.

However, the exact origin of this proverb is difficult to pinpoint, the sentiment echoes through history, suggesting that home is defined not by a physical location but by where one’s emotional ties lie.

One of the earliest expressions close to this sentiment can be attributed to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and natural philosopher from the first century, who astutely remarked, “Home is where the heart is” (Latin: “Ubi bene, ibi patria”), suggesting that one’s true home is where one’s affections lie, not necessarily where one physically resides.

The precise phrasing we currently employ originates in 1857, within the pages of the novel ‘Scandal’ by the writer J. T. Bickford:

“’Describe me a home, Willie.’ ‘Well, I should say, a woman of Kate Bently’s appearance-‘ ‘Nay, I said not a wife, but a home.’ Home is where the heart is, Katie.’”

Similar proverbs and synonyms

There is a list of synonyms and comparable proverbs that focus on the themes of “home.” The following list shows some widely known examples:

  • Home is not a place, but a feeling.
  • Home is where you hang your hat.
  • Love makes a house a home.
  • Sense of belonging
  • Social acceptance
  • Feeling of connection


“Home is where the heart is” means that home goes beyond the physical location. It refers to where one’s affections, love, and deepest feelings reside. It can be a place where you feel most comfortable or at peace.

Yes, this expression is recognized as a metaphor within English. It uses the concept of “home” not in its literal sense of a physical place, but as a symbol of where one’s deepest feelings and sense of belonging are located. Similarly, the “heart” is not meant in the literal biological sense but as a symbol of love and affection.

Absolutely. For someone who travels frequently, the phrase can be especially meaningful. Such individuals might find “home” in multiple places around the world or in the company of people they meet along their journeys.

The key lesson from “home is where the heart is” is the importance of recognizing and cherishing the emotional and relational aspects of what truly makes a place feel like home. It teaches us, that sometimes, “home” is not a house with four walls, but rather four eyes and two heartbeats.

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