tear1 - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a drop of liquid that comes from your eye when you cry

    Her eyes filled with tears.

    tears of joy/laughter/rage etc:

    She welcomed Ian with tears of joy when he returned home.

    1. a.


      [plural] the state of crying
      in tears (=crying):

      I was left standing there in tears.

      burst into tears (=start crying suddenly):

      She slammed the phone down and burst into tears.

      close/near to tears (=almost crying):

      I was near to tears when she said goodbye.

      on the verge of tears (=almost crying):

      Colin saw I was on the verge of tears.

      fight back (the) tears (=try hard not to cry):

      She fought back the tears as she told us the dreadful news.

      reduce someone to tears (=make someone cry):

      He was well known for reducing his staff to tears.

  2.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    go on a tear mainly American to show a sudden burst of energy or activity

    I could go on a tear myself about lazy and unrepentant resort to journalese or fashion copy that makes me break out in hives.

    The economy in Brazil is on a tear.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 05/01/2016
  3.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    go on a/the tear Irish to go on a drinking binge

    Every once in a while I'd go off on a tear and the day after was usually a wash.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 05/01/2016
See also