adjective, tear·i·er, tear·i·est.

of or like tears.

Origin of teary

First recorded in 1325–75, teary is from the Middle English word tery. See tear1, -y1
Related formstear·i·ly, adverbtear·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for teary

Contemporary Examples of teary

Historical Examples of teary

  • There's a name on it but my eyes are so teary I can't make it out.

    Dandelion Cottage

    Carroll Watson Rankin

  • And Mehitable lifted her swollen, teary face from the pillow and drank it.

  • The slipper landed on Jo's head and she responded by raising rather a teary face.

    The Four Corners Abroad

    Amy Ella Blanchard

  • Then Wilbur, in the disordered kitchen, put himself squarely in the way of the teary mother.

    The Wrong Twin

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • So Evelyn went off up-stairs, after teary kisses and good-nights, and Maria was left alone with her father in the parlor.

    By the Light of the Soul

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for teary


adjective tearier or teariest

characterized by, covered with, or secreting tears
given to weeping; tearful
Derived Formstearily, adverbteariness, 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

Word Origin and History for teary

late 14c., from tear (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Tearily; teariness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper