tear·​ful | \ ˈtir-fəl How to pronounce tearful (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tearfully (audio) \ 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

The public's image of Kavanaugh is likely his angry, tearful rebuttal of Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of a teenage assault. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Gorsuch, Kavanaugh shift the Supreme Court, but their differences are striking," 30 June 2019 The singer quote-tweeted the Variety report with the tearful, watery-eyes emoji, and re-shared her Halloween video from 2018 for emphasis. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Melissa McCarthy Reportedly in Talks to Play Ursula in "The Little Mermaid," Lizzo Responds," 29 June 2019 Comparatively, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Windows Vista was his biggest regret at Microsoft before his tearful farewell. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Bill Gates says his ‘greatest mistake ever’ was Microsoft losing to Android," 24 June 2019 Yesterday, Thorne shut down the argument in a tearful Instagram video, reminding Goldberg that the only crime committed and shameful act here was done by a hacker, not her. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Bella Thorne Thanks Zendaya, Lily Rose Depp & More For Support After Nude Photo Hack," 20 June 2019 In a tearful post-game press conference after Durant ruptured his right Achilles tendon in Game 5, Myers expressed gratitude for Durant and blamed himself. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Is this end of the Warriors’ dynasty? Steve Kerr says ‘no’," 15 June 2019 At times tearful, at times defiant Saturday, Knox recounted her odyssey for nearly an hour, occasionally breaking down, such as while recalling an injustice or a kindness received. Elisabetta Povoledo, BostonGlobe.com, "Years after murder acquittal, Knox returns to Italy," 15 June 2019 Moved by Esther’s tearful pleading, the king then gave out another decree, authorizing all Jews in his kingdom to bear arms so as to defend themselves. National Geographic, "Did Queen Esther’s beauty or bravery foil a massacre?," 8 Mar. 2019 Her husband and stepdaughter held a tearful news conference, saying she was killed during an act of charity. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore prosecutors drop murder case, add accessory charge against daughter in killing blamed on panhandler," 3 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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 How to pronounce tearful (audio) \

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).


a small bunch of flowers

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