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[bleer] /blɪər/
verb (used with object)
to make dim, as with tears or inflammation:
a biting wind that bleared the vision.
(of the eyes) dim from tears.
dim; indistinct.
a blur; cloudiness; dimness:
She was concerned about the recent blear in her vision.
Origin of blear
1250-1300; Middle English bleri, blere (v.), blere (adj.) < ?
Related forms
[bleer-id-nis] /ˈblɪər ɪd nɪs/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blear
Historical Examples
  • He gazed with an open mouth and puzzled, blear eyes at the woman before him.

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • The dogs were nearly as furious as the night before, and the day's eye was blear.

    The Lost Pibroch Neil Munro
  • blear eyes, sore faces, and sore feet were almost universal.

    Notes on Old Edinburgh Isabella L. Bird
  • Idiots, with blear eyes and protending under-lips, gibbered and whined.

    The Garden Of Allah Robert Hichens
  • "You bet I c'n answer," said Alf bravely, blinking his blear eyes.

    The Daughter of Anderson Crow

    George Barr McCutcheon
  • In simple chronic ophthalmia, blear eyes, &c., also to remove particles of lime from the eyes.

  • As the direfulness of it all crept over him, something very like anger gleamed through the blear of his faded eyes.

    Stories of the Foot-hills Margaret Collier Graham
  • Mrs. Kebby's blear eyes lighted up, and she leered amiably at the couple.

    The Silent House Fergus Hume
  • Monsieur in a greasy green dressing-gown odorous of tobacco, swearing at a boy with blear eyes,—a scene-shifter.

  • The door was flung wide from within, and the blear eyes of Nicol peered out into the night-light.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for blear


(transitive) to make (eyes or sight) dim with or as if with tears; blur
a less common word for bleary
Word Origin
C13: blere to make dim; related to Middle High German blerre blurred vision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blear

c.1300, blere "watery, rheumy," perhaps related to blur. Cf. Middle High German blerre "having blurred vision."


"to dim (of vision); to have watery or rheumy eyes," early 14c., of uncertain origin, possibly from an Old English *blerian, from the same source as blear (adj.). Related: Bleared; blearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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