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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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blear
Historical Examples
  • His fine-cut face also, though still kingly, was weak with age and his eyes were blear.

    The Virgin of the Sun H. R. Haggard
  • Idiots, with blear eyes and protending under-lips, gibbered and whined.

    The Garden Of Allah Robert Hichens
  • If he be crookbacked; or blear eyed; or have a pearl in his eye, or a continual scab, or a dry scurf in his body, or a rupture.

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

  • Burglars are not all escaped convicts, blear eyed and hideous; nor do they all go about in fustian.

    The Diamond Coterie Lawrence L. Lynch
  • 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
  • At that last stinging sentence, alarm had jumped to the blear eyes of the former convict.

    The Sheriff's Son William MacLeod Raine
  • "'Twould turn the edge of a knife," said I, tasting it and looking at him: but his one blear'd eye was inscrutable.

    The Splendid Spur Arthur T. Quiller Couch
  • Not a few of the cases both black and white showed evidences of cocaine or morphine poisoning—the blear eyes, the unsteady nerves.

    Following the Color Line Ray Stannard Baker
  • None of these blear illusions can cheat our eyes with any such false presentments.

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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