1660s, "tear-like," from Latin lacrimosus "tearful, sorrowful, weeping," also "causing tears, lamentable," from lacrima "tear," a dialect-altered borrowing of Greek dakryma "tear," from dakryein "to shed tears," from dakry "tear," from PIE *dakru-/*draku- (see tear (n.)). Meaning "given to tears, tearful" is first attested 1727; meaning "of a mournful character" is from 1822. The -d- to -l- alteration in Latin is the so-called "Sabine -L-," cf. Latin olere "smell," from root of odor, and Ulixes, the Latin form of Greek Odysseus. The Medieval Latin practice of writing -ch- for -c- before Latin -r- also altered anchor, pulchritude, sepulchre. The -y- is pedantic, from belief in a Greek origin. Middle English had lacrymable "tearful" (mid-15c.).