tear

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English teren, from Old English teran (to tear, lacerate), from Proto-Germanic *teraną (to tear, tear apart, rip), from Proto-Indo-European *derǝ- (to tear, tear apart). Cognate with Scots tere, teir, tair (to rend, lacerate, wound, rip, tear out), Dutch teren (to eliminate, efface, live, survive by consumption), German zehren (to consume, misuse), German zerren (to tug, rip, tear), Danish tære (to consume), Swedish tära (to fret, consume, deplete, use up), Icelandic tæra (to clear, corrode). Outside Germanic, cognate to Ancient Greek δέρω (derō, to skin), Albanian ther (to slay, skin, pierce).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

tear (third-person singular simple present tears, present participle tearing, simple past tore, past participle torn)

  1. (transitive) To rend (a solid material) by holding or restraining in two places and pulling apart, whether intentionally or not; to destroy or separate.
    • 1856: Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part III Chapter XI, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling
      He suffered, poor man, at seeing her so badly dressed, with laceless boots, and the arm-holes of her pinafore torn down to the hips; for the charwoman took no care of her.
    He tore his coat on the nail.
  2. (transitive) To injure as if by pulling apart.
    He has a torn ligament.
    He tore some muscles in a weight-lifting accident.
  3. (transitive) To cause to lose some kind of unity or coherence.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
    He was torn by conflicting emotions.
  4. (transitive) To make (an opening) with force or energy.
    A piece of debris tore a tiny straight channel through the satellite.
    His boss will tear him a new one when he finds out.
    The artillery tore a gap in the line.
  5. (transitive, often with off or out) To remove by tearing.
    Tear the coupon out of the newspaper.
  6. (transitive, of structures, with down) To demolish
    The slums were torn down to make way for the new development.
  7. (intransitive) To become torn, especially accidentally.
    My dress has torn.
  8. (intransitive) To move or act with great speed, energy, or violence.
    He went tearing down the hill at 90 miles per hour.
    The tornado lingered, tearing through town, leaving nothing upright.
    He tore into the backlog of complaints.
  9. (intransitive) To smash or enter something with great force.
    The chain shot tore into the approaching line of infantry.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (break): rend, rip
  • (remove by tearing): rip out, tear off, tear out
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

tear (plural tears)

  1. A hole or break caused by tearing.
    A small tear is easy to mend, if it is on the seam.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A girl producing tears

From Middle English teer, ter, tere, tear, from Old English tēar, tǣr, tæhher, teagor, *teahor (drop; tear; what is distilled from anything in drops, nectar), from Proto-Germanic *tahrą (tear), from Proto-Indo-European *dáḱru- (tears). Cognates include Old Norse tár (Danish tåre and Norwegian tåre), Old High German zahar (German Zähre), Gothic 𐍄𐌰𐌲𐍂 (tagr).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

tear (plural tears)

  1. A drop of clear, salty liquid produced from the eyes by crying or irritation.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 6, The China Governess[1]:
      ‘[…] I remember a lady coming to inspect St. Mary's Home where I was brought up and seeing us all in our lovely Elizabethan uniforms we were so proud of, and bursting into tears all over us because “it was wicked to dress us like charity children”. […]’.
    There were big tears rolling down Lisa's cheeks.
    Ryan wiped the tear from the paper he was crying on.
  2. Something in the form of a transparent drop of fluid matter; also, a solid, transparent, tear-shaped drop, as of some balsams or resins.
    • Dryden
      Let Araby extol her happy coast, / Her fragrant flowers, her trees with precious tears.
  3. That which causes or accompanies tears; a lament; a dirge.
    • Milton
      some melodious tear
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

tear (third-person singular simple present tears, present participle tearing, simple past and past participle teared)

  1. (intransitive) To produce tears.
    Her eyes began to tear in the harsh wind.
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Old English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *tahrą. Germanic cognates include Old Frisian tār, Old High German zahar (German Zähre, originally plural), Old Norse tár (Swedish tår).

Noun[edit]

tēar m

  1. tear (drop of liquid from the tear duct)

Descendants[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From teia +‎ -ar

Noun[edit]

tear m (plural teares)

  1. loom

West Frisian[edit]

Noun[edit]

tear

  1. tar