American English

Definition of tear noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[usually plural] see also tear1
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 a drop of liquid that comes out of your eye when you cry A tear rolled down his face. She left the room in tears (= crying). He suddenly burst into tears (= began to cry). As he listened to the music, his eyes filled with tears. Their story will move you to tears (= make you cry). They reduced her to tears (= made her cry, especially by being cruel or unkind). Ann wiped a tear from her eye. The memory brought a tear to her eye (= made her cry). Most of the audience was on the verge of tears. I was close to tears as I told them the news. Desperately she fought back the tears (= tried not to cry). to shed tears of happiness tears of pain, joy, etc. The tears welled up in his eyes.
adjective teary eyes a teary smile/goodbye
blood, sweat, and tears
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2very hard work; a lot of effort The only way to succeed is through old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears.
bored stiff, bored to death/tears, bored out of your mind
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3extremely bored
crocodile tears
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4if someone sheds (= cries)crocodile tears, they pretend to be sad about something, but they are not really sad at all Let's have no more politicians shedding crocodile tears for the unemployed.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tear