• A regular waterfall of tears came gushing from her eyes, flooding all around her
    A regular waterfall of tears came gushing from her eyes, flooding all around her
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v tear fill with tears or shed tears "Her eyes were tearing"
    • v tear strip of feathers "pull a chicken","pluck the capon"
    • v tear to separate or be separated by force "planks were in danger of being torn from the crossbars"
    • v tear separate or cause to separate abruptly "The rope snapped","tear the paper"
    • v tear move quickly and violently "The car tore down the street","He came charging into my office"
    • n tear the act of tearing "he took the manuscript in both hands and gave it a mighty tear"
    • n tear an occasion for excessive eating or drinking "they went on a bust that lasted three days"
    • n tear a drop of the clear salty saline solution secreted by the lacrimal glands "his story brought tears to her eyes"
    • n tear an opening made forcibly as by pulling apart "there was a rip in his pants","she had snags in her stockings"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A woman gazes at her reflection in a mirror while her children tear apart her house A woman gazes at her reflection in a mirror while her children tear apart her house

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The reason why your nose gets runny when you are crying is because the tears from the eyes drain into the nose
    • Tear (Physiol) A drop of the limpid, saline fluid secreted, normally in small amount, by the lachrymal gland, and diffused between the eye and the eyelids to moisten the parts and facilitate their motion. Ordinarily the secretion passes through the lachrymal duct into the nose, but when it is increased by emotion or other causes, it overflows the lids. "And yet for thee ne wept she never a tear ."
    • Tear (Glass Manuf) A partially vitrified bit of clay in glass.
    • Tear Hence, to divide by violent measures; to disrupt; to rend; as, a party or government torn by factions.
    • Tear Something in the form of a transparent drop of fluid matter; also, a solid, transparent, tear-shaped drop, as of some balsams or resins. "Let Araby extol her happy coast,
      Her fragrant flowers, her trees with precious tears ."
    • Tear That which causes or accompanies tears; a lament; a dirge. "Some melodous tear ."
    • n Tear The act of tearing, or the state of being torn; a rent; a fissure.
    • Tear To divide or separate on being pulled; to be rent; as, this cloth tears easily.
    • Tear To move and act with turbulent violence; to rush with violence; hence, to rage; to rave.
    • Tear To move violently; to agitate. "Once I loved torn ocean's roar."
    • Tear To pull with violence; as, to tear the hair.
    • Tear To rend away; to force away; to remove by force; to sunder; as, a child torn from its home. "The hand of fate
      Hath torn thee from me."
    • Tear To separate by violence; to pull apart by force; to rend; to lacerate; as, to tear cloth; to tear a garment; to tear the skin or flesh. "Tear him to pieces; he's a conspirator."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from producing tears
    • n tear plural The gum-disease of citrous trees; psorosis.
    • tear To rend; pull apart or in pieces; make a rent or rents in: as, to tear one's clothes; to tear up a letter.
    • tear To produce or effect by rending or some similar action: as, to tear a hole in one's dress.
    • tear To lacerate; wound in the surface, as by the action of teeth or of something sharp rudely dragged over it: as, to tear the skin with thorns: also used figuratively: as, a heart torn with anguish; a party or a church torn by factions.
    • tear To drag or remove violently or rudely; pull or pluck with violence or effort; force rudely or unceremoniously; wrench; take by force: with from, down, out, off, etc.
    • tear To pull to pieces or shreds; rend completely: as, to tear up a piece of paper; to tear up a sheet into strips.
    • tear Synonyms Rip, Split, etc. See rend.
    • tear To part, divide, or separate on being pulled or handled with more or less violence: as, cloth that tears readily.
    • tear To move noisily and with vigorous haste or eagerness; move and act with turbulent violence; hence, to rave; rant; bluster; rage; rush violently or noisily: as, to tear out of the house.
    • n tear A rent; a fissure.
    • n tear A turbulent motion, as of water.
    • n tear A spree.
    • n tear A drop or small quantity of the limpid fluid secreted by the lacrymal gland, appearing in the eye or falling from it; in the plural, the peculiar secretion of the lacrymal gland, serving to moisten the front of the eyeball and inner surfaces of the eyelids, and on occasion to wash out the eye or free it from specks of dirt, dust, or other irritating substances. Tears, like saliva, are continually secreted in a certain quantity, which is speedily and copiously increased when the activity of the gland is excited either by mechanical stimulation or by mental emotion. Any passion, tender or violent, as joy, anger, etc., and especially pain or grief, may excite the flow of tears, which is also immediately provoked by pain, especially in the eye itself. The tears ordinarily flow unperceived through the lacrymal canal or nasal duct into the nose; when the supply is too copious they overflow the lids and trickle down the cheek. Tears consist of slightly saline water, having an alkaline reaction.
    • n tear Hence plural Figuratively, grief; sorrow.
    • n tear Something like a tear-drop. A drop of fluid: as, tears of blood.
    • n tear In glass manufacturing, a defect, of occasional occurrence, consisting of a bit of clay from the roof or glass-pot partially vitrified in the glass. Such tears sometimes cause a glass object to fly to pieces without apparent cause.
    • n tear In the making of ornamental glass, a pear-shaped drop of colored glass applied for ornament.
    • n tear See Coix.
    • tear To fill or besprinkle with or as with tears.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Scientists with high-speed cameras have discovered that rain drops are not tear shaped but rather look like hamburger buns.
    • n Tear tēr a drop of the fluid secreted by the lachrymal gland, appearing in the eyes: anything like a tear
    • v.t Tear tār to draw asunder or separate with violence: to make a violent rent in: to lacerate
    • v.i Tear to move or act with violence: to rage:—pa.t. tōre, (B.) tāre; pa.p. tōrn
    • n Tear something torn, a rent:
    • n Tear (slang) a spree
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “Wide will wear, but tight will tear.”
  • Louis Kronenberger
    Louis Kronenberger
    “In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought.”
  • Robert Frost
    “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”
  • Adrienne Rich
    “Only to have a grief equal to all these tears!”
  • Kim Wilde
    Kim Wilde
    “My tears of love are a waste of time if I turn away”
  • F. M. Knowles
    F. M. Knowles
    “Marriage is a lottery, but you can't tear up your ticket if you lose.”


Blood, sweat and tears - If something will take blood, sweat and tears, it will be very difficult and will require a lot of effort and sacrifice.
Crocodile tears - If someone cries crocodile tears, they pretend to be upset or affected by something.
Tear your hair out - If someone is tearing their hair out, they are extremely worried or agitated about something.
Tears before bedtime - (UK) This idiom is used when something seems certain to go wrong or cause trouble.
Vale of tears - This vale of tears is the world and the suffering that life brings.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. teren, AS. teran,; akin to OS. farterian, to destroy, D. teren, to consume, G. zerren, to pull, to tear, zehren, to consume, Icel. tæra, Goth. gataíran, to destroy, Lith. dirti, to flay, Russ. drate, to pull, to tear, Gr. de`rein to flay, Skr. dar, to burst. √63. Cf. Darn Epidermis Tarre Tirade


In literature:

Those fangs could rip through his boots, tear the muscles of his legs, and cripple him.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
He could not tear himself away, though he had promised not to interfere with the girl.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Tears were running down his creased cheeks as he stared at Gray Cloud.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
There were crystal tears overflowing in her eyes.
"Jennie Gerhardt" by Theodore Dreiser
But he had not had that comfort of tears; his tears ran down the inside of his soul and burned.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
I just can't bear to see those beautiful eyes o' yours all red and running tears.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum
Rachel wept to tell her the lack of news, but Miriam did not join in her tears.
"Dreamers of the Ghetto" by I. Zangwill
The old poet was nearly moved to tears.
"Tante" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
On seeing him so deadly pale and his eyes inflamed from the tears of awful remorse, she knew that Blondine had perished.
"Old French Fairy Tales" by Comtesse de Ségur
Ben's strong arms began to tremble; tears of anguish met the beating rain, as it broke over his face.
"Mabel's Mistake" by Ann S. Stephens

In poetry:

Boy Love is dead:
His little wings are torn,
And broken is his bow.
And none hath wiped away the tears of woe,
The tears he lately shed,
Upon his cheek forlorn.
"Love Lies Bleeding" by Cicely Fox Smith
Weep not, deare friends, since I for both have wept
When all my tears were bloud, the while you slept:
Your tears for your own fortunes should be kept:
Was ever grief like mine?
"The Sacrifice" by George Herbert
Then a yell of rage burst from the noble crew,
And near to his fallen body they drew;
And tears for his loss fell fast on the deck,
Their grief was so great their tears they conldn 't check.
"An All-Night Sea Fight" by William Topaz McGonagall
Flow on, ye tears! and bear me home;
Flow not! ye tears of deeper woe;
Flow on, ye tears! that are but foam
Of deeper waves that will not flow.
A little while -- I reach the shore
Where tears flow not forevermore!
"Tears" by Abram Joseph Ryan
The tears that trickled down our eyes,
They do not touch the earth to-day;
But soar like angels to the skies,
And, like the angels, may not die;
For ah! our immortality
Flows thro' each tear -- sounds in each sigh.
"Tears" by Abram Joseph Ryan
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
"The Princess: A Medley: Tears, Idle Tears" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

In news:

Contact Lens Stock Tearing Up The Charts.
The blooms can affect humans causing eye and respiratory conditions such as coughing , sneezing, tearing and itching.
Daniel Brenner AnnArbor.com Michigan sophomore cornerback Blake Countess is out for the season after tearing an ACL on Saturday against Alabama.
This Moth Will Steal Your Tears.
With the tragedies of Chardon (twice), Gabby Gifford and six others (including a 9-year-old) and now Aurora, Colo. (12 killed and 38 injured, including a 51-year-old and a 6-year-old), the tears of the politicos are flowing.
As property values skyrocketed in the Park Cities about three decades ago, a trend developed that continues today - tearing down homes and building bigger ones in their place.
Terps' Demetrius Hartsfield tears ACL, will miss rest of season.
In turn, the state would tear down the Jacob K Javits Convention Center on Manhattan's West Side.
With tear-downs running at a record pace, residents worry about what the city is becoming.
Gerard Depardieu 's midflight public pee reduces Anderson Cooper to tears (VIDEO).
Crews to start tearing down derelict buildings in Detroit.
Oakland police said on Thursday that they were left with no choice but to use tear gas Wednesday evening to break up a dangerous crowd.
A minor character departs and no tears are shed here, just thoughts on lost opportunities for others past and present.
Iran uses tear gas to disperse protesters.
Today's Viral Video: Obama tears up, breast-feeding doll and more.

In science:

Hence the current sheet dimensions, l/λ = 0.03, are compatible with a tearing mode instability.
Tests of Dynamical Flux Emergence as a Mechanism for CME Initiation
The di fference is that we allow more flexible boundary conditions and on /off wearand-tear cost modeling, and are more precise in the decision variables being integers instead of real numbers.(iv) In the problem setting, we assume that the power consumption of a server is constant P.
Simple and Effective Dynamic Provisioning for Power-Proportional Data Centers
The size of the critical window is determined by the wear-and-tear cost and the unit-time energy cost of running a single server.
Simple and Effective Dynamic Provisioning for Power-Proportional Data Centers
Barnsley8) Fractal dimensions are invariant under coordinate transformations that are one to one, onto and Lipschitz (C 1− ), ie. bounded deformations with no rips, tears, folds or infinite stretching.
Fractals and Symbolic Dynamics as Invariant Descriptors of Chaos in General Relativity
However, such instabilities, i.e. the tearing mode instability, do not allow us to evade the constraints on the global plasma flow that lead to slow reconnection speeds, a point which has been demonstrated numerically () and analytically (Lazarian & Vishniac 1999, hereafter LV99).
Physics of Gamma-Ray Bursts: Turbulence, Energy Transfer and Reconnection