Match ends, Hearts 5, Kilmarnock 0.
Ryan Stevenson scored a hat-trick as Hearts crushed sorry Kilmarnock and cranked up the Ayrshire side's relegation play-off fears.
The already-relegated hosts were streets ahead of Killie and Stevenson's treble was the least they deserved for their energetic first-half display.
Billy King and Callum Paterson added further goals after the break.
Killie remain in the play-off spot and the result means St Mirren's safety in the top flight has been secured.
The Buddies can no longer finish in 11th place, with two rounds of fixtures to play.
Kilmarnock went into this one having won the three previous meetings of the sides this season, but had lost five of their last six league games.
Hearts, meanwhile, were unbeaten in five and had won four of those.
A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Hearts, Rangers and Scotland player Sandy Jardine, who died last month.
The pattern of play was set from the first whistle as the hosts piled forward, determined to test the nerves of the visitors.
And the home side grabbed the goal their early dominance merited after 11 minutes.
Rory McKenzie downed Sam Nicholson on the edge of the area and Stevenson's free-kick from the angle found its way through a packed box to beat Craig Samson.
Hearts kept the pressure on and Killie could not capitalise on their first real look at goal, when Sammy Clingan knocked a 25-yard free-kick over the bar.
That foray forward gave the visitors a bit of belief and Kris Boyd tried an overhead kick from Clingan's corner, but the ball dropped on to the roof of the net.
And Hearts soon cashed in on some woeful Killie defending to double their advantage. Nicholson delivered into the area and when the visitors failed to clear, Stevenson slammed a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Kilmarnock offered a threat at the other end when Boyd drilled in a shot that Jamie MacDonald had to turn round the post.
The visitors then had a penalty claim when Chris Johnston went down under Paterson's challenge, but referee Calum Murray ignored the appeals.
Hearts finished the half as they started as Dale Carrick's delightful touch and pass sent Billy King darting away. He fed Stevenson, who was denied his hat-trick by a decent stop from Samson.
But Stevenson's treble was only delayed by a matter of seconds, as he knocked the ball out to King and then raced into the area to finish on the six-yard line.
The visitors were looking for a major improvement in the second 45 minutes but their sloppiness continued as Manuel Pascali's poor pass allowed Hearts to break with Nicholson setting up Stevenson, whose effort clipped the post.
Stevenson then turned provider after a lightning counter-attack, setting up King to crash in the fourth.
The visitors threw on Alexei Eremenko but there was no stopping the one-way traffic towards their goal with Hearts hitting their fifth just before the hour.
Paterson cleared the ball from his own box then burst forward into the Killie area, where he finished from Stevenson's delivery.
Killie tried to shore things up at the back to help their goal difference and Hearts took their foot off the gas as the clocked ticked down.
They still had chances to add to their tally, however, and could have added more goals with a little more care in the final third.
- 18CarrickSubstituted forOliverat 78'minutes
- 7StevensonSubstituted forHamillat 87'minutes
- 19KingSubstituted forSmithat 72'minutes
- 29PascaliBooked at 25mins
- 18McKenzieSubstituted forAshcroftat 63'minutes
- 9BoydSubstituted forGrosat 69'minutes
- 33MuirheadSubstituted forEremenkoat 57'minutes
- 12Reguero Chapinal
- Calum Murray
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hearts 5, Kilmarnock 0.
Attempt blocked. Jason Holt (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Hearts. Jamie Hamill replaces Ryan Stevenson.
Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Ross Barbour.
Attempt saved. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).
Foul by Sam Nicholson (Hearts).
Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Dale Carrick.
Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).
William Gros (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).
Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.