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tear1

[teer] /tɪər/
noun
1.
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.
Synonyms: teardrop.
2.
this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, especially grief:
to shed tears.
3.
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:
teardrop earrings.
4.
Glassmaking. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
5.
tears, grief; sorrow.
verb (used without object)
6.
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
7.
in tears, weeping:
He was in tears over the death of his dog.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English teer, Old English tēar, tehher, taeher; cognate with Old High German zahar, Old Norse tār, Gothic tagr, Greek dákry, Latin lacrima (see lachrymal); (v.) Middle English teren, Old English teheran, in teherende (gerund), derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for in tears

tear1

/tɪə/
noun
1.
a drop of the secretion of the lacrimal glands See tears
2.
something shaped like a hanging drop a tear of amber
Also called (esp Brit) teardrop
Derived Forms
tearless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tēar, related to Old Frisian, Old Norse tār, Old High German zahar, Greek dakri

tear2

/tɛə/
verb tears, tearing, tore, torn
1.
to cause (material, paper, etc) to come apart or (of material, etc) to come apart; rip
2.
(transitive) to make (a hole or split) in (something) to tear a hole in a dress
3.
(intransitive) often foll by along. to hurry or rush to tear along the street
4.
(transitive; usually foll by away or from) to remove or take by force
5.
when intr, often foll by at. to cause pain, distress, or anguish (to) it tore at my heartstrings to see the starving child
6.
(informal) tear one's hair, to be angry, frustrated, very worried, etc
noun
7.
a hole, cut, or split
8.
the act of tearing
9.
a great hurry; rush
10.
(slang) on a tear, showing a sudden burst of energy
Derived Forms
tearable, adjective
tearer, noun
Word Origin
Old English teran; related to Old Saxon terian, Gothic gatairan to destroy, Old High German zeran to destroy
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 in tears
tear
"water from the eye," O.E. tear, from earlier teahor, tæhher, from P.Gmc. *takh-, *tagr- (cf. O.N., O.Fris. tar, O.H.G. zahar, Ger. Zähre, Goth. tagr "tear"), from PIE *dakru-/*draku- (cf. L. lacrima, Old L. dacrima, Ir. der, Welsh deigr, Gk. dakryma). The O.E. verb tæherian did not survive into M.E.; the modern verb is attested from c.1650, mainly in Amer.Eng. Tear gas first recorded 1917; tear-jerker is attested from 1921 (first in ref. to writing of James Whitcomb Riley), on model of soda jerker.
tear
"pull apart," O.E. teran (class IV strong verb; past tense tær, pp. toren), from P.Gmc. *teran (cf. O.S. terian, M.Du. teren "to consume," O.H.G. zeran "to destroy," Ger. zehren, Goth. ga-tairan "to tear, destroy"), from PIE *der- "tear" (cf. Skt. drnati "cleaves, bursts," Gk. derein "to flay," Arm. terem "I flay," O.C.S. dera "to burst asunder," Bret. darn "piece"). The O.E. past tense survived long enough to get into Bible translations as tare before giving place 17c. to tore, which is from the old pp. toren. Sense of "to pull by force" (away from some situation or attachment) is attested from 1297. The noun meaning "act of tearing" is attested from 1666. To be torn between two things (desires, loyalties, etc.) is from 1871.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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in tears in Medicine

tear 1 (târ)
n.
A rip or rent in a material or structure.

tear 2 (tēr)
n.
A drop of the clear salty liquid that is secreted by the lacrimal gland of the eye to lubricate the surface between the eyeball and eyelid and to wash away irritants.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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in tears in Science
tear
  (tîr)   
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for in tears

tear 1

noun

A drinking spree; bender, binge: Fred wanted to go on a little tear in the big town (1869+)

Related Terms

on a tear


tear 2

verb

To go very fast; rush around rapidly: McAllister had no inclination to go tear-assing up the slope and into the hills (entry form 1599+, variant 1940s+)


tear 3

noun

A pearl

[fr the tear shape of some pearls]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with in tears
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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