I did try using dictionaries, but unfortunately, they were, at least to me, of little help, as most of them defined the two words similarly.

2 Answers 2


Their meanings are somewhat similar but they are used rather differently.

"Disheartened" is usually used to describe a person. That is, a person who has lost hope, lacks drive and so on is disheartened.

"Half hearted" is usually used to something that a person does.


"Joe was disheartened because of the many disappointments he had had in his life".


"Jill's attempts to play piano were half-hearted and that is one reason she never played well."

  • Half hearted is used to describe how a person does something...?
    – Lambie
    Jun 12, 2019 at 12:00
  • Yes. That is how it's used.
    – Peter Flom
    Jun 13, 2019 at 11:35

There is a difference in meaning: disheartened means you feel disappointed and discouraged, whereas half-hearted means showing no real effort, interest or enthusiasm. You only put half of your heart in so to speak.

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