tear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “tear” in the English Dictionary

"tear" in British English

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tearverb

uk   /teər/  us   /ter/ (tore, torn)
  • tear verb (PULL APART)

B1 [I or T] to ​pull or be ​pulledapart, or to ​pullpieces off: You have to be very ​careful with ​books this ​old because the ​paper tears very ​easily. I tore my ​skirt on the ​chair as I ​stood up. A ​couple of ​pages had been torn out of/from the ​book.

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tearnoun [C]

uk   /teər/  us   /ter/

tearnoun

uk   /tɪər/  us   /tɪr/
B1 [C usually plural] a ​drop of ​saltyliquid that ​flows from the ​eye, as a ​result of ​strongemotion, ​especiallyunhappiness, or ​pain: tears ofremorse/​regret/​happiness/​joy/​laughter Did you ​notice the tears in hiseyes when he ​talked about Diane? Why do ​arguments with you always reduce me to tears (= make me ​cry)? I won't shed (any) tears (= I will not be ​unhappy) when he goes, I can ​tell you!burst into tears B1 to ​suddenlystart to ​cryin tears B1 crying: I ​found him in tears in his ​bedroom.

tearverb [I]

uk   /tɪər/  us   /tɪr/
(Definition of tear from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tear" in American English

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tearnoun [C usually pl]

 us   /tɪər/
a ​drop of ​saltyliquid that ​flows from the ​eye when it is ​hurt or as a ​result of ​strongemotion, esp. ​unhappiness or ​pain: By the end of the ​movie I had tears in my ​eyes (= I was ​ready to ​cry). The ​boy had ​lost his ​money and was in tears (= ​crying).

tearverb

 us   /teər/ (past tense tore  /tɔr, toʊr/ , past participle torn  /tɔrn, toʊrn/ )
  • tear verb (PULL APART)

[I/T] to ​pull or be ​pulledapart or away from something ​else, or to ​cause this to ​happen to something: [T] I ​caught my ​shirt on a ​nail and tore the ​sleeve. [T] I tore a ​hole in my ​sleeve. [T] Several ​pages had been torn out of the ​book. [M] She tore off a ​strip of ​bandage and ​wrapped it around the ​wound. [M] He ​angrily tore the ​letter up (= into ​smallpieces). [M] They tore down (= ​destroyed) the ​oldbuilding. [M] fig. The ​politicalsituation threatened to tear the ​countryapart.
  • tear verb (HURRY)

[I always + adv/prep] infml to move very ​quickly; to ​rush: She was late and went tearing around the ​houselooking for her ​carkeys.

tearnoun [C]

 us   /ter, tær/
  • tear noun [C] (OPENING)

a ​hole or ​opening in something that is made by ​pullingapart or away from something ​else: There’s a tear in the ​lining of my ​coat.
(Definition of tear from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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