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tear

1 [teer]
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. 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:
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

tear

2 [tair]
verb (used with object), tore or (Archaic) tare, torn or (Archaic) tare, tearing.
1.
to pull apart or in pieces by force, especially so as to leave ragged or irregular edges. rend, rip, rive. mend, repair, sew.
2.
to pull or snatch violently; wrench away with force: to tear wrappings from a package; to tear a book from someone's hands.
3.
to distress greatly: anguish that tears the heart. break, crack, shatter, afflict.
4.
to divide or disrupt: a country torn by civil war. disunite, split, splinter. unite, reunite, join, bind.
5.
to wound or injure by or as if by rending; lacerate. cut, mangle, slash.
6.
to produce or effect by rending: to tear a hole in one's coat.
7.
to remove by force or effort: to be unable to tear oneself from a place.
verb (used without object), tore or (Archaic) tare, torn or (Archaic) tare, tearing.
8.
to become torn.
9.
to make a tear or rent.
10.
to move or behave with force, violent haste, or energy: The wind tore through the trees; cars tearing up and down the highway; I was tearing around all afternoon trying to find sandals for the beach.
noun
11.
the act of tearing.
12.
a rent or fissure. rip, rift, rupture.
13.
a rage or passion; violent flurry or outburst.
14.
Informal. a spree.
Verb phrases
15.
tear at,
a.
to pluck violently at; attempt to tear: She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
b.
to distress; afflict: remorse that tears at one's soul.
16.
tear down,
a.
to pull down; destroy; demolish.
b.
to disparage or discredit: to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
17.
tear into, Informal.
a.
to attack impulsively and heedlessly: He tore into the food with a will.
b.
to attack verbally: She tore into him for being late for dinner.
18.
tear off, Slang. to perform or do, especially rapidly or casually: to tear off a poem; to tear off a set of tennis.
19.
tear up,
a.
to tear into small shreds: He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them. rip up.
b.
to cancel or annul: to tear up a contract.
Idioms
20.
tear it, Slang. to ruin all hope; spoil everything.
21.
tear one's hair, to manifest extreme anxiety, grief, anger, or frustration: I'm so upset, I could just tear my hair out. Also, tear one's hair out.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English teren (v.), Old English teran; cognate with Dutch teren, German zehren to consume, Gothic distairan to destroy, Greek dérein to flay

tearable, adjective
tearableness, noun
tearer, noun
untearable, adjective


1. Tear, rend, rip mean to pull apart. To tear is to split the fibers of something by pulling apart, usually so as to leave ragged or irregular edges: to tear open a letter. Rend implies force or violence in tearing apart or in pieces: to rend one's clothes in grief. Rip implies vigorous tearing asunder, especially along a seam or line: to rip the sleeves out of a coat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
tear1 (tɪə)
 
n
1.  See tears a drop of the secretion of the lacrimal glands
2.  something shaped like a hanging drop: a tear of amber
 
[Old English tēar, related to Old Frisian, Old Norse tār, Old High German zahar, Greek dakri]
 
'tearless1
 
adj

tear2 (tɛə)
 
vb (often foll by along) (when intr, often foll by at) , tears, tearing, tore, torn
1.  to cause (material, paper, etc) to come apart or (of material, etc) to come apart; rip
2.  (tr) to make (a hole or split) in (something): to tear a hole in a dress
3.  to hurry or rush: to tear along the street
4.  (tr; usually foll by away or from) to remove or take by force
5.  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
 
n
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
 
[Old English teran; related to Old Saxon terian, Gothic gatairan to destroy, Old High German zeran to destroy]
 
'tearable2
 
adj
 
'tearer2
 
n

torn (tɔːn)
 
vb
1.  the past participle of tear
2.  slang (Brit) that's torn it an unexpected event or circumstance has upset one's plans
 
adj
3.  split or cut
4.  divided or undecided, as in preference: he was torn between staying and leaving

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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.

torn
p.p. of tear, from O.E. getoren, p.p. of teran (see tear (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
tear   (tîr)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
His eye was torn open and the optical nerve laid bare.
Familiar stores are gone, and many public buildings have been torn down and
  rebuilt.
One disadvantage of water spouts is that they can be torn apart by the wind.
But his ribs were bruised, and the muscle was torn from his rib cage.
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