tear·​ful | \ ˈtir-fəl \

Definition of tearful 

1 : flowing with or accompanied by tears tearful entreaties
2 : causing tears : teary a tearful eulogy

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Other Words from tearful

tearfully \ ˈtir-​fə-​lē \ adverb
tearfulness noun

Synonyms for tearful


lachrymose, teary, weepy

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Examples of tearful in a Sentence

He looked up at me with his tearful eyes and asked for help. the tearful parting of two lovers

Recent Examples on the Web

But after a string of sweet interactions between her friends, tearful moments from Rosie, and at least one inspiring Dolly-ism, everyone appears to come around. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Your First Look at Netflix's New "Dumplin'' Movie," 6 Dec. 2018 His ashes were interred at Washington, DC’s National Cathedral on Friday, as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop extended a tearful welcome to LGBTQ individuals who had felt unwanted by their churches. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "“Welcome home, Matt”: Bishop Robinson welcomes Matthew Shepard — and gay Christians — back to the church," 26 Oct. 2018 Actors like Julianne Moore, Kiera Knightly, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are shown in reflective postures, tearful breakdowns, and other stages of grief at losing love. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Five Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in September," 5 Sep. 2018 Meghan McCain returned to her role as a co-host on The View this morning with a tearful thank you to the supporters who stood by her and her family in the wake of the death of her father, Senator John McCain. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Meghan McCain Returned to The View With a Tearful Thank You to Fans," 8 Oct. 2018 As one of this year's honorees, Teigen delivered a speech at the Women of the Year awards that was hilarious, personal, honest, tearful, and, yes, meme-able. Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen's Glamour 2018 Women of the Year Speech Is the Best Thing You'll See Today," 12 Nov. 2018 Democrats, by and large, were somber, withdrawn, and almost tearful, while Republicans appeared positively ebullient. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "12 senators on what kind of message Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation sends to America’s women," 7 Oct. 2018 The other four organizers, who are sitting at a long table next to the podium, have already said their tearful piece of this closing ceremony; Dave’s just joining the club. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "How the first Wakandacon escaped the fan convention curse," 13 Aug. 2018 These are some of the questions 11-year-old Keaton Jones of Knoxville, Tennessee asked his mom in a tearful video after being bullied at school. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Country Music Stars Are Rallying Behind This Bullied Tennessee Boy," 11 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tearful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tearful

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near tearful

tear down


tear fault


tear gas


tear grass

Statistics for tearful

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tearful

The first known use of tearful was circa 1586

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More Definitions for tearful



English Language Learners Definition of tearful

: filled with tears

: happening with tears


tear·​ful | \ ˈtir-fəl \

Kids Definition of tearful

: flowing with, accompanied by, or causing tears a tearful goodbye

Other Words from tearful

tearfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on tearful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tearful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tearful

Spanish Central: Translation of tearful

Nglish: Translation of tearful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tearful

What made you want to look up tearful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving abstract or general statements

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