WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
(tēr′fəl),USA pronunciation adj.
- full of tears;
- causing tears:the tearful story of his poverty.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020 tearful /ˈtɪəfʊl/ adj
ˈtearfully adv ˈtearfulness n
- about to cry
- tending to produce tears; sad
tear1 /tɪr/USA pronunciation
n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
v. [no object]
- Physiologya drop of salty, watery fluid produced by glands around the eyelid:Tears wash away dirt and dust in the eye.
- Physiologya drop of this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief, pain, or sadness:Tears flowed down his face during the funeral.
- tears, [plural] an act of weeping:She burst into tears.
- (of the eyes) to fill up and overflow with tears:His eyes teared whenever he thought of his late father.
tear•y, adj., -i•er, -i•est.
tear2 /tɛr/USA pronunciation
v., tore, torn, tear•ing, n. v.
- Idiomsin tears, weeping:I found her in tears.
- to (cause to) be pulled apart or in pieces by force: [~ + object]He tore the fabric.[no object]This fabric tears easily.
- to pull or snatch violently:[~ + object]She tore the book from my hands.
- to move or behave with violent haste or great energy:[no object]The wind tore through the trees.
- to divide or disrupt:[~ + object; usually: be + torn]The country was torn by civil war.
- to produce (a hole or rip) by pulling apart:[~ + object]to tear a hole in one's coat.
- to remove by force or effort:[~ + object + away]It was such an exciting lecture, I couldn't tear myself away.
- tear at, [~ + at + object]
- to pull or pluck violently at:He tore at her sleeve, begging her to stay.
- to cause a feeling of distress, pain, or unhappiness;
afflict:The grief tore at his heart.
- tear down:
- to pull down;
demolish: [~ + object + down]They're tearing the old library down.[~ + down + object]They're tearing down the old library.
- to discredit or show to be false: [~ + down + object]He tore down the theory that some races are more intelligent than others.[~ + object + down]The scientists were quick to tear that theory down.
- tear into, [~ + into + object] to attack quickly and viciously:The army tore into the enemy.
- tear up:
- to tear into small shreds: [~ + up + object]He tore up the message.[~ + object + up]He tore the message up.
- to cancel or annul: [~ + up + object]to tear up a contract.[~ + object + up]to tear a contract up.
- the act of tearing.
- a place where something is or has been torn, ripped, or pulled apart.
- Informal Termsa spree:The shoppers went on a tear through the mall.
(tēr),USA pronunciation n.
- Physiologya drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and keep them clear of foreign particles.
- Physiologythis fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief.
- something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, esp. having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other.
- Ceramics[Glassmaking.]a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel;
- tears, grief;
- in tears, weeping:He was in tears over the death of his dog.
- to fill up and overflow with tears, as the eyes.
(târ),USA pronunciation v., tore or (Archaic) tare, torn or (Archaic) tare, tear•ing;
- bef. 900; (noun, nominal) Middle English teer, Old English tēar, tehher, taeher; cognate with Old High German zahar, Old Norse tār, Gothic tagr, Greek dákry, Latin lacrima (see lachrymal); (verb, verbal) Middle English teren, Old English teheran, in teherende (gerund, gerundive), derivative of the noun, nominal
- to pull apart or in pieces by force, esp. so as to leave ragged or irregular edges.
- to pull or snatch violently;
wrench away with force:to tear wrappings from a package; to tear a book from someone's hands.
- to distress greatly:anguish that tears the heart.
- to divide or disrupt:a country torn by civil war.
- Pathologyto wound or injure by or as if by rending;
- to produce or effect by rending:to tear a hole in one's coat.
- to remove by force or effort:to be unable to tear oneself from a place.
- to become torn.
- to make a tear or rent.
- to move or behave with force, violent haste, or energy:The wind tore through the trees;cars tearing up and down the highway;I was tearing around all afternoon trying to find sandals for the beach.
- tear at:
- to pluck violently at;
attempt to tear:She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
- to distress;
afflict:remorse that tears at one's soul.
- tear down:
- to pull down;
- to disparage or discredit:to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
- tear into, [Informal.]
- to attack impulsively and heedlessly:He tore into the food with a will.
- to attack verbally:She tore into him for being late for dinner.
- tear it, [Slang.]to ruin all hope;
- tear off, [Slang.]to perform or do, esp. rapidly or casually:to tear off a poem; to tear off a set of tennis.
- tear one's hair, to tug at one's hair, as with anger or sorrow. Also, tear one's hair out.
- tear up:
- to tear into small shreds:He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
- to cancel or annul:to tear up a contract.
- the act of tearing.
- a rent or fissure.
- a rage or passion;
violent flurry or outburst.
- Informal Termsa spree.
- bef. 900; Middle English teren (verb, verbal), Old English teran; cognate with Dutch teren, German zehren to consume, Gothic distairan to destroy, Greek dérein to flay
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Tear, rend, rip mean to pull apart. To tear is to split the fibers of something by pulling apart, usually so as to leave ragged or irregular edges:to tear open a letter.Rend implies force or violence in tearing apart or in pieces:to rend one's clothes in grief.Rip implies vigorous tearing asunder, esp. along a seam or line:to rip the sleeves out of a coat.
- 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged shatter, afflict.
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged split.
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged cut, mangle.
- 19.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rip.
'tearful' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):