[ teer ]
/ tɪər /


a 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.
this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, especially grief: to shed tears.
something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, especially having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other: teardrop earrings.
Glassmaking. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
tears, grief; sorrow.

verb (used without object)

to fill up and overflow with tears, as the eyes (often followed by up): My eyes were tearing in the wind. He teared up when he heard the news.

Idioms for tear

    in tears, weeping: He was in tears over the death of his dog.

Origin of tear

before 900; (noun) 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); (v.) Middle English teren, Old English teheran, in teherende (gerund), derivative of the noun

Definition for tear (2 of 2)

Origin of tear

before 900; Middle English teren (v.), Old English teran; cognate with Dutch teren, German zehren to consume, Gothic distairan to destroy, Greek dérein to flay

synonym study for tear

1. 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, especially along a seam or line: to rip the sleeves out of a coat.


tear·a·ble, adjective tear·a·ble·ness, noun tear·er, noun un·tear·a·ble, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for tear

British Dictionary definitions for tear (1 of 2)

tear 1
/ (tɪə) /


a drop of the secretion of the lacrimal glands See tears
something shaped like a hanging drop a tear of amber
Also called (esp Brit): teardrop

Derived forms of tear

tearless, adjective

Word Origin for tear

Old English tēar, related to Old Frisian, Old Norse tār, Old High German zahar, Greek dakri

British Dictionary definitions for tear (2 of 2)

tear 2
/ (tɛə) /

verb tears, tearing, tore or torn


Derived forms of tear

tearable, adjective tearer, noun

Word Origin for tear

Old English teran; related to Old Saxon terian, Gothic gatairan to destroy, Old High German zeran to destroy

Scientific definitions for tear

[ tîr ]

A drop of the clear salty liquid secreted by glands (lacrimal glands) in the eyes. Tears wet the membrane covering the eye and help rid the eye of irritating substances.

Idioms and Phrases with tear