Definition of tearful in English:



  • 1Crying or inclined to cry.

    ‘a tearful infant’
    ‘Stephen felt tearful’
    • ‘No one can fail to be moved by the sight of a tearful mother wailing for her dead child.’
    • ‘It was an unhappy and sometimes tearful female who in the evening could not imagine how to face her job next morning.’
    • ‘Even though everybody is under 13, the room is quiet except for some tearful whimpers of fear and anticipated pain.’
    • ‘It arrived after 20 minutes, but Mr Williams said as the woman waited she became nervous and panicky, very tearful and upset.’
    • ‘I lose sleep, I have a bad temper and I am tearful, tired and upset.’
    • ‘However, since September she has been unhappy about going to school, and has become tearful and anxious.’
    • ‘A police officer gave evidence that, on arrival at the police station, the complainant was very upset and tearful.’
    • ‘He was sure that that was only a short time after the incident, and Donnelly was tearful and upset and could not remember anything.’
    • ‘She was upset, tearful and apologetic that she had not been straight with the WPC.’
    • ‘When I found myself weeping as I leaned over my tearful baby to change her, I knew there had to be a better way.’
    • ‘Lawson's tearful mother, who has travelled from Grimsby every day during the trial, declined to comment as she left the court building.’
    • ‘The young woman sitting opposite me looks tired, tearful and fearful, hiding away inside a baggy shirt, baggier jeans and brickie boots.’
    • ‘A tearful Morphew, the father of two grown-up daughters, told the court he was appalled by what he had done and was sorry.’
    • ‘A tearful German woman sitting in front turned round to me and said: ‘It is not fair.’’
    • ‘And it was when he spoke directly to his supporters, some tearful, some defiant, all deflated, that his voice choked.’
    • ‘The mother became tearful when asked about her past residences.’
    • ‘A tearful Grigg-Booth, who appeared in court on police bail, sat in front of the public bench as the court clerk read out the allegations.’
    • ‘‘The baby's mother was very tearful and very low when she came into the pub,’ said Mrs Rogers.’
    • ‘He got a little tearful as the journalist was leaving.’
    • ‘A tearful woman who identified herself as Yushenkov's wife answered his mobile phone and said he had been killed.’
    in tears, crying, weeping, sobbing, wailing, snivelling, whimpering
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    1. 1.1Causing tears; sad or emotional.
      ‘a tearful farewell’
      • ‘The film runs the gamut of emotions from tearful sickbed scenes to ruthless black comedy.’
      • ‘More than 2,000 people bade a tearful farewell to the man credited with having a huge impact in his fight for progress for the black community.’
      • ‘Girls from the Leaving Certificate classes brought along roses in a tearful farewell to their friend.’
      • ‘Partner Debbie hugged the couple's son, Daniel, aged two, in a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘She had time for a visit to Middlesbrough for a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘There's a delay, with several tearful family farewells enacted at the same time.’
      • ‘Parents and staff have said a tearful farewell to a children's nursery that has closed after 25 years.’
      • ‘Staff, pupils and parents are due to bid a tearful farewell to their Bolton primary school tomorrow.’
      • ‘And if you truly love that small store of yours, prepare for a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘Everything ends eventually, and the farewells of the cast were prolonged and tearful.’
      • ‘A heartbroken grandfather has made a tearful appeal for the return of his beloved Jack Russell dog.’
      • ‘Dave Bill and I get letter after tearful letter from girls without boyfriends, and you have two!’
      • ‘These were the tearful words uttered yesterday by Radica Narine, mother of murdered nail artist Devika Narine.’
      • ‘As Berry arrived at his house, he was prepared for a grim and tearful leave-taking.’
      • ‘You may remember his tearful appearances on this program and one other.’
      • ‘Mr Hussain's 34-year-old widow Naila has made a tearful plea for help to catch her husband's killers.’
      • ‘The wife of a Bolton man who was kicked to death as he walked home from his birthday celebration has made a tearful appeal for her husband's killer to come forward.’
      • ‘Robert's widow, Sharron Johnston, 44, has made a tearful plea for anyone with information to come forward.’
      • ‘For Sheen, the most tearful part of the movie is a scene with Sheen and her father, played by Raj Babbar, towards the end of the film.’
      • ‘The heartbroken mother of Easter murder victim Lucy Royle today made a tearful plea for help to find her savage killer.’
      emotional, upsetting, distressing, sad, heartbreaking, heart-rending, sorrowful
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/ˈtɪəfʊl/ /ˈtɪəf(ə)l/