Tears of St Lawrence
Tear Tear (t[=e]r), n. [AS. te['a]r; akin to G. z["a]rhe, OHG. zahar, OFries. & Icel. t[=a]r, Sw. t[*a]r, Dan. taare, Goth. tagr, OIr. d[=e]r, W. dagr, OW. dacr, L. lacrima, lacruma, for older dacruma, Gr. da`kry, da`kryon, da`kryma. [root]59. Cf. {Lachrymose}.] 1. (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. [1913 Webster]

And yet for thee ne wept she never a tear. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. Something in the form of a transparent drop of fluid matter; also, a solid, transparent, tear-shaped drop, as of some balsams or resins. [1913 Webster]

Let Araby extol her happy coast, Her fragrant flowers, her trees with precious tears. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. That which causes or accompanies tears; a lament; a dirge. [R.] ``Some melodous tear.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

4. (Glass Manuf.) A partially vitrified bit of clay in glass. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Note: Tear is sometimes used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, tear-distilling, tear-drop, tear-filled, tear-stained, and the like. [1913 Webster]

{Tears of St. Lawrence}, the Perseid shower of meteors, seen every year on or about the eve of St. Lawrence, August 9th.

{Tears of wine}, drops which form and roll down a glass above the surface of strong wine. The phenomenon is due to the evaporation of alcohol from the surface layer, which, becoming more watery, increases in surface tension and creeps up the sides until its weight causes it to break. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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