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.’
    • ‘I lose sleep, I have a bad temper and I am tearful, tired and upset.’
    • ‘The young woman sitting opposite me looks tired, tearful and fearful, hiding away inside a baggy shirt, baggier jeans and brickie boots.’
    • ‘A police officer gave evidence that, on arrival at the police station, the complainant was very upset and tearful.’
    • ‘A tearful German woman sitting in front turned round to me and said: ‘It is not fair.’’
    • ‘It was an unhappy and sometimes tearful female who in the evening could not imagine how to face her job next morning.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even though everybody is under 13, the room is quiet except for some tearful whimpers of fear and anticipated pain.’
    • ‘‘The baby's mother was very tearful and very low when she came into the pub,’ said Mrs Rogers.’
    • ‘A tearful Morphew, the father of two grown-up daughters, told the court he was appalled by what he had done and was sorry.’
    • ‘And it was when he spoke directly to his supporters, some tearful, some defiant, all deflated, that his voice choked.’
    • ‘He got a little tearful as the journalist was leaving.’
    • ‘However, since September she has been unhappy about going to school, and has become tearful and anxious.’
    • ‘When I found myself weeping as I leaned over my tearful baby to change her, I knew there had to be a better way.’
    • ‘The mother became tearful when asked about her past residences.’
    • ‘It arrived after 20 minutes, but Mr Williams said as the woman waited she became nervous and panicky, very tearful and upset.’
    • ‘He was sure that that was only a short time after the incident, and Donnelly was tearful and upset and could not remember anything.’
    • ‘Lawson's tearful mother, who has travelled from Grimsby every day during the trial, declined to comment as she left the court building.’
    • ‘She was upset, tearful and apologetic that she had not been straight with the WPC.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Causing tears; sad or emotional.
      ‘a tearful farewell’
      • ‘Everything ends eventually, and the farewells of the cast were prolonged and tearful.’
      • ‘Parents and staff have said a tearful farewell to a children's nursery that has closed after 25 years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's a delay, with several tearful family farewells enacted at the same time.’
      • ‘Mr Hussain's 34-year-old widow Naila has made a tearful plea for help to catch her husband's killers.’
      • ‘Robert's widow, Sharron Johnston, 44, has made a tearful plea for anyone with information to come forward.’
      • ‘A heartbroken grandfather has made a tearful appeal for the return of his beloved Jack Russell dog.’
      • ‘The heartbroken mother of Easter murder victim Lucy Royle today made a tearful plea for help to find her savage killer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Staff, pupils and parents are due to bid a tearful farewell to their Bolton primary school tomorrow.’
      • ‘She had time for a visit to Middlesbrough for a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘Girls from the Leaving Certificate classes brought along roses in a tearful farewell to their friend.’
      • ‘You may remember his tearful appearances on this program and one other.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These were the tearful words uttered yesterday by Radica Narine, mother of murdered nail artist Devika Narine.’
      • ‘The film runs the gamut of emotions from tearful sickbed scenes to ruthless black comedy.’
      • ‘As Berry arrived at his house, he was prepared for a grim and tearful leave-taking.’
      • ‘Partner Debbie hugged the couple's son, Daniel, aged two, in a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘And if you truly love that small store of yours, prepare for a tearful farewell.’
      • ‘Dave Bill and I get letter after tearful letter from girls without boyfriends, and you have two!’
      emotional, upsetting, distressing, sad, heartbreaking, heart-rending, sorrowful
      View synonyms