tear·​ful ˈtir-fəl How to pronounce tearful (audio)
: flowing with or accompanied by tears
tearful entreaties
: causing tears : teary
a tearful eulogy
tearfully adverb
tearfulness noun

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 Maddi's family and friends say there was more than just tearful arguments. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, 13 Apr. 2024 So Far The former Eagles center formally announced his retirement on March 4 in a tearful 40-minute speech. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 27 Mar. 2024 Alexis Grossman, her daughter, shared tearful testimony that bolstered the defense’s argument that Erickson was at fault. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Jean, despite a tearful bid to surrender in June after her daughter finishes first grade, was ordered to go prison immediately. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 2 Apr. 2024 The video, in which a tearful Mcgookin shows the camera a giant welt on her forehead, has since been viewed more than 30 million times. Stephanie McNeal, Glamour, 27 Mar. 2024 Earlier in the finale episode, Daisy and Kelsey – the final two contestants among a cast of 32 eligible women – had tearful meetings with Joey's parents and sisters and expressed their love for him. Kimi Robinson, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2024 After a chilly opening night reception in Moscow — the tour took place shortly after the Soviets shot down an American spy plane — Mr. Janis’s performances of the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 and Gershwin’s Concerto in F drew frantically cheering and sometimes tearful audiences. Allan Kozinn, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2024 Her eyes were tearful and her hand was on her head. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tearful.' 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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tearful was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near tearful

Cite this Entry

“Tearful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tearful. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tear·​ful ˈti(ə)r-fəl How to pronounce tearful (audio)
: flowing with, accompanied by, or causing tears
tearfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on tearful

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