Meaning of tear


Pronunciation: (tēr), [key]
— n.
  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.
  2. this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief.
  3. something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, esp. having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other.
  4. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
  5. grief; sorrow.
  6. weeping: He was in tears over the death of his dog.
  1. to fill up and overflow with tears, as the eyes.


Pronunciation: (târ), [key]
— v., n. tore tare, torn tare, tear•ing
  1. to pull apart or in pieces by force, esp. so as to leave ragged or irregular edges.
  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.
  4. to divide or disrupt: a country torn by civil war.
  5. to wound or injure by or as if by rending; lacerate.
  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.
  1. to become torn.
  2. to make a tear or rent.
  3. 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.
  4. She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
    1. to pluck violently at; attempt to tear:She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
    2. to distress; afflict:remorse that tears at one's soul.
  5. to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
    1. to pull down; destroy; demolish.
    2. to disparage or discredit:to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
  6. He tore into the food with a will.
    1. to attack impulsively and heedlessly:He tore into the food with a will.
    2. to attack verbally:She tore into him for being late for dinner.
  7. to ruin all hope; spoil everything.
  8. to perform or do, esp. rapidly or casually: to tear off a poem; to tear off a set of tennis.
  9. to tug at one's hair, as with anger or sorrow.
  10. He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
    1. to tear into small shreds:He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
    2. to cancel or annul:to tear up a contract.
  1. the act of tearing.
  2. a rent or fissure.
  3. a rage or passion; violent flurry or outburst.
  4. a spree.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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