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: little tears of morning dew.
Glassmaking. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
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 about tear
Other definitions for tear (2 of 2)
to pull apart or in pieces by force, especially 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.
to wound or injure by or as if by rending; lacerate.
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.
the act of tearing.
a rent or fissure.
a rage or passion; violent flurry or outburst.
Informal. a spree.
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.
to pull down; destroy; demolish.
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 off, Slang. to perform or do, especially rapidly or casually: to tear off a poem; to tear off a set of tennis.
to tear into small shreds:He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
to cancel or annul: to tear up a contract.
- tear·a·ble, adjective
- tear·a·ble·ness, noun
- tearer, noun
- un·tear·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tear in a sentence
The loosened starch flying here was annoying, both to the tearers and the girls at the sewing-machines.Making Both Ends Meet | Sue Ainslie Clark and Edith Wyatt
He thinks we are thieves and scoundrels and tearers up of treaties, because we did not penalize ourselves!Great Britain's Sea Policy | Gilbert Murray
Yes, I want you to remember that these rich are blood-drinkers, tearers of human flesh, gnawers of human bones!Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre | Voltairine de Cleyre
And others had teeth in groups—grinders, tearers, and cutters—like mammals.Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know | Julia Ellen Rogers
British Dictionary definitions for tear (1 of 2)
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
- tearless, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for tear (2 of 2)
to cause (material, paper, etc) to come apart or (of material, etc) to come apart; rip
(tr) to make (a hole or split) in (something): to tear a hole in a dress
(intr often foll by along) to hurry or rush: to tear along the street
(tr; usually foll by away or from) to remove or take by force
(when intr, often foll by at) to cause pain, distress, or anguish (to): it tore at my heartstrings to see the starving child
tear one's hair informal to be angry, frustrated, very worried, etc
a hole, cut, or split
the act of tearing
a great hurry; rush
on a tear slang showing a sudden burst of energy
- tearable, adjective
- tearer, noun
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
Scientific definitions for tear
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with tear
In addition to the idioms beginning with tear
- tear apart
- tear around
- tear at
- tear away
- tear down
- tear into
- tear it
- tear off
- tear one's hair
- rip (tear) into
- wear and tear
Also see undertearstorn.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.