tear
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tæhher, tēar; akin to Old High German zahar tear, Greek dakry Date: before 12th century 1. a. a drop of clear saline fluid secreted by the lacrimal gland and diffused between the eye and eyelids to moisten the parts and facilitate their motion b. plural a secretion of profuse tears that overflow the eyelids and dampen the face 2. a transparent drop of fluid or hardened fluid matter (as resin) 3. plural an act of weeping or grieving <
broke into tears
>
tearless adjective II. intransitive verb Date: before 12th century to fill with tears ; shed tears <
eyes tearing in the November wind — Saul Bellow
>
III. verb (tore; torn; tearing) Etymology: Middle English teren, from Old English teran; akin to Old High German zeran to destroy, Greek derein to skin, Sanskrit dṛṇāti he bursts, tears Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. to separate parts of or pull apart by force ; rend b. to wound by or as if by tearing ; lacerate <
tear the skin
>
2. to divide or disrupt by the pull of contrary forces <
a mind torn with doubts
>
3. a. to remove by force ; wrench — often used with off <
tear a cover off a box
>
b. to remove as if by wrenching <
tear your thoughts away from the scene
>
4. to make or effect by or as if by tearing <
tear a hole in the wall
>
intransitive verb 1. to separate on being pulled ; rend <
this cloth tears easily
>
2. a. to move or act with violence, haste, or force <
went tearing down the street
>
b. to smash or penetrate something with violent force <
the bullet tore through his leg
>
tearable adjectivetearer noun Synonyms: tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive mean to separate forcibly. tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges <
tear up the letter
>
. rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint <
ripped the shirt on a nail
>
. rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering <
an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes
>
. split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers <
split logs for firewood
>
. cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow <
a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak
>
. rive occurs most often in figurative use <
a political party riven by conflict
>
. IV. noun Date: 1611 1. a. damage from being torn; especially a hole or flaw made by tearing b. the act of tearing 2. a. a tearing pace ; hurry b. spree <
got paid and went on a tear
>
c. a run of unusual success <
the team was on a tear
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tear — (t[^a]r), v. t. [imp. {Tore} (t[=o]r), ((Obs. {Tare}) (t[^a]r); p. p. {Torn} (t[=o]rn); p. pr. & vb. n. {Tearing}.] [OE. teren, AS. teran; akin to OS. farterian to destroy, D. teren to consume, G. zerren to pull, to tear, zehren to consume, Icel …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tear — tear1 [ter] vt. tore, torn, tearing [ME teren < OE teran, to rend, akin to Ger zehren, to destroy, consume < IE base * der , to skin, split > DRAB1, DERMA1] 1. to pull apart or separate into pieces by force; rip or rend (cloth, paper,… …   English World dictionary

  • tear — tear; tear·able; tear·age; tear·er; tear·ful; tear·i·ly; tear·less; tear·able·ness; tear·ful·ly; tear·ful·ness; tear·less·ly; tear·less·ness; …   English syllables

  • tear — Ⅰ. tear [1] ► VERB (past tore; past part. torn) 1) rip a hole or split in. 2) (usu. tear up) pull or rip apart or to pieces. 3) damage (a muscle or ligament) by overstretching it. 4) (usu …   English terms dictionary

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tear — may refer to:*Tears, eye secretion *Tearing, breaking apart fibers by force *Robert Tear (born 1939), Welsh singerElements in fiction: *Tear, character Tear Grants in video game Tales of the Abyss *Tear (Wheel of Time), nation in series of… …   Wikipedia

  • tear — vb Tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive can all mean to separate forcibly one part of a continuous material or substance from another, or one object from another with which it is closely and firmly associated. Tear implies pulling apart or away… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • tear — [n1] rip, cut breach, break, crack, damage, fissure, gash, hole, imperfection, laceration, mutilation, rent, run, rupture, scratch, split, tatter; concept 513 Ant. perfection tear / tears [n2] droplets from eyes, often caused by emotion… …   New thesaurus

  • Tear — Tear, n. The act of tearing, or the state of being torn; a rent; a fissure. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] {Wear and tear}. See under {Wear}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tear — Tear, v. i. 1. To divide or separate on being pulled; to be rent; as, this cloth tears easily. [1913 Webster] 2. To move and act with turbulent violence; to rush with violence; hence, to rage; to rave. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tear — index divide (separate), lancinate, mutilate, race, rend, separate, sever, split …   Law dictionary

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