Definition of blear in US English:



[with object]archaic
  • Make dim; blur.

    ‘you would blear your eyes with books’
    • ‘In the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins' evocative phrasing, ‘All is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; and wears man's smudge and shares man's smell.’’
    • ‘She pursed her mouth, lipstick blearing like a squashed berry.’
    • ‘Despite the hopes earlier held out to him by the Wife, the Husband can now envisage no alternative to ruin and to the ultimate terror of beggary which, he later says, was the ‘thing I feared. / O, 'twas the enemy my eyes so bleared!’’
    • ‘There she beheld another countenance, of a man well stricken in years, a pale, thin, scholar-like visage, with eyes dim and bleared by the lamplight that had served them to pore over many ponderous books.’
    • ‘Tears bleared my vision as I took every agonizing step, one at a time, through first the winding maze of the gardens, and then the dark corridors, lit only by the faint glow of a torch.’
    • ‘I frowned as they departed, and turned to my mother and father, sadness blearing up my eyes.’
    • ‘She saw the door slam, the ghost evaporate, and the girl running until everything around her bleared into nothingness.’
    • ‘I honestly just couldn't read it, my eyes were blearing.’
    • ‘Her vision bleared and she couldn't hear anything.’
    • ‘His vision bleared for the last second that he remembered before he fell and everything went black.’
    make indistinct, make vague, unfocus, soften
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  • Dim, dull, or filmy.

    ‘a medicine to lay to sore and blear eyes’
    • ‘They were almost transparent, blear beads of amber, slightly filmed with red; blood, a vampire's tears.’
    blurred, blurry, unfocused
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  • A film over the eyes; a blur.

    ‘he forced his eyes open and shut to rid them of blear’
    • ‘She woke up with a start and twelve menacing figures shimmered into focus as the blear left her eyes.’
    • ‘The blear in his eyes receded like sea foam before the bow.’


Middle English (as a verb): probably related to Middle High German blerre ‘blurred vision’ and Low German blarroged ‘bleary-eyed’.