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

John McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, gave a heartfelt and tearful speech at the memorial service for her father at Washington National Cathedral this morning. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Meghan McCain's Eulogy for Her Father John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 Kelly Clarkson, the host of this year's Billboard Music Awards, opened the show with a tearful message about the recent shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, "Kelly Clarkson Address Santa Fe Shooting at 2018 Billboard Music Awards: 'I'm Sick of Moments of Silence'," 20 May 2018 At Simons’s emotional final show for Jil Sander during the Fall 2012 season, the designer emerged from backstage for a tearful bow as the audience rose for a standing ovation. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Raf Simons Has a Peculiar Runway Show Habit—Have You Noticed It?," 16 Jan. 2019 This show of emotion, in turn, made Gaga at first verklempt and then fully tearful. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Lady Gaga Had a Sally Field “You Like Me” Moment at the Toronto Film Festival," 11 Sep. 2018 The photo, which went viral, shows a tearful Devonte hugging a police officer. Melissa Gray, CNN, "Boy in viral 'hug' photo missing after family's car plunges off cliff," 28 Mar. 2018 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

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 fault


tear gas


tear grass

Statistics for tearful

Last Updated

7 Mar 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).


having no equal

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