See more synonyms for blear on
  1. (of the eyes) dim from tears.
  2. dim; indistinct.
  1. 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 formsblear·ed·ness [bleer-id-nis] /ˈblɪər ɪd nɪs/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blear

dim, darken, mislead, fog, deceive, protrude, obscure, dull

Examples from the Web for blear

Historical Examples of blear

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for blear


  1. (tr) to make (eyes or sight) dim with or as if with tears; blur
  1. a less common word for bleary

Word Origin for blear

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

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