vale of tears
Loan translation of Latin lacrimarum vallis, from the Salve Regina, where it refers to the world as a whole. The expression is based on Hebrew עמק הבכא (ʿēmeq habbāḵāʾ), mentioned in Psalm 84:7, originally probably “sear valley”, but interpreted as “valley of weeping”. Vale is a Middle English word meaning a valley or dale.
- (idiomatic) A symbolic "valley of tears"; meaning the world and the sorrows felt through life. The phrase implies that sadness is an innate part of human experience.