a. The floor of a fireplace, usually extending into a room and paved with brick, flagstone, or cement.
b. A fireplace: a blazing fire in the hearth.
2. Family life; the home.
a. The lowest part of a blast furnace or cupola, from which the molten metal flows.
b. The bottom of a reverberatory furnace, where ore is exposed to the flame.
4. The fireplace or brazier of a blacksmith's forge.
[Middle English herth, from Old English heorth; see ker-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)hearth
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus