9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[teer-fuh l] /ˈtɪər fəl/
full of tears; weeping.
causing tears:
the tearful story of his poverty.
Origin of tearful
1580-90; tear1 + -ful
Related forms
tearfully, adverb
tearfulness, noun
half-tearful, adjective
half-tearfully, adverb
half-tearfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tearful
  • She looked away, somehow managing to look both tearful and bored.
  • He then made a tearful confession before an audience of more than one hundred people that lasted two and a half hours.
  • The self-given promises of that tearful night of parting were forgotten.
  • He put his two hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her tearful face.
  • Her tearful acceptance speech for the best-actress award was seen by tens of millions of viewers.
  • Some residents staged a vigil, paying their tearful respects along the water's edge.
  • In a tearful panic, he picks up and confesses that the bomb strapped to him is going to go off.
  • He was choked and tearful on the stand-so overwrought at times he couldn't speak.
  • tearful people danced in the streets and flourished the inky forefingers that marked those who had voted.
  • Having first denied any wrongdoing, she made a tearful public apology.
British Dictionary definitions for tearful


about to cry
accompanying or indicative of weeping: a tearful expression
tending to produce tears; sad
Derived Forms
tearfully, adverb
tearfulness, 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
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