fight back tears

idiomatic phrase

variants or less commonly fight back the tears
: to try very hard not to cry
He was fighting back tears as he announced his resignation.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web His tone varied from anger to at one point appearing to fight back tears. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 8 Mar. 2023 As the segment progressed, Strong started to break character and fight back tears while reminiscing about her time on the sketch comedy series. Christi Carrasstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 Dec. 2022 Harmon flashed a thumbs-up as he was put on the cart in an emotional scene that included Oklahoma linebacker Kelvin Gilliam, a childhood friend and high school teammate, appearing to fight back tears. Schuyler Dixon, ajc, 1 Oct. 2022 Marchand grew emotional, appearing to fight back tears. David Waldstein, New York Times, 1 May 2023 Constance Malcolm, whose son Ramarley Graham was killed by a New York City police officer in his home in 2012, had to fight back tears before speaking into the megaphone. David Zucchino,, 6 June 2020 McIntyre appears even more distraught after hearing the request, turning away from Clark and repeatedly burying his face in his hands while appearing to fight back tears. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 3 Feb. 2023 Earlier on Thursday, in an appearance on a local talk show, Arroyo seemed to fight back tears while telling an interviewer that it’s been difficult responding to the allegations. Danny Mcdonald,, 1 Sep. 2022 Herbig initially had to fight back tears when asked about Brown’s passing. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fight back tears.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fight back tears was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near fight back tears

Cite this Entry

“Fight back tears.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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