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

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

Tried at age 18, he was wrongly convicted and sent to prison until, at age 41, he was finally released to his joyous and tearful family. Hunter Woodall And Eric Adler, kansascity, "Wrongfully convicted Kansans finally will get restitution. ‘A good start,’ one says | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 When Robinson's family emerged from Lopinto's office Monday morning, his mother walked slowly, wearily, supported by tearful relatives. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Family wants another agency to head Keeven Robinson death investigation," 14 May 2018 Her tearful father was there to receive the body at Karachi airport. NBC News, "Sabika Sheikh, Pakistani teen killed at Texas school, is laid to rest in home country," 23 May 2018 When the interpreter translated Ortega’s tearful description of her imprisonment, Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg threw up his hands. Maureen O'connor, The Cut, "Sentenced to Life in Prison, the Nanny Sobs (for Herself)," 14 May 2018 Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, witnessed the tearful proposal, snapped a photo and shared it on Twitter. CBS News, "Man finds rings in ashes of home burned by wildfire, proposes again," 9 July 2018 The children were at turns withdrawn, tearful and clingy. Melanie Grayce West And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "A Day After Court Deadline, a Round of Family Reunifications at 26 Federal Plaza," 11 July 2018 There were a few tearful moments, but overall, the feeling in the theatre was wonderstruck. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "The Legendary Robin Williams was Missed and Reminisced at the New York City Premiere for Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind," 14 July 2018 Lea posted about the tearful experience on her Instagram Story, sharing a few pics of herself on the tarmac and recommending hot water and lemon for an in-flight beverage. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Lea Michele Tweeted About Sobbing and Watching "Queer Eye" Season 2 on an Airplane," 26 June 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 down


tear fault



tear gas

tear grass

Statistics for tearful

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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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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 state of commotion or excitement

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