Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to tears.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting the glands that produce tears.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to tears, or the tear glands.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to tears.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or secreting, tears.
  • adj. Pertaining to the lachrymal{2} organs
  • n. See lachrymatory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to tears
  • adj. relating to or located near the organ that produces tears

Etymologies

Middle English lacrimale, from Old French lacrymal, from Medieval Latin lachrymālis, from Latin lacrima, lachryma, tear; see dakru- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • What relation is there between a melancholy idea and this limpid and briny liquid filtered through a little gland into the external corner of the eye which moistens the conjunctiva and little lachrymal points, whence it descends into the nose and mouth by the reservoir called the lachrymal duct, and by its conduits?

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • After the last adieu had been given, and Miss Jane had rubbed her eyes enough with her fine pocket-hand kerchief (or, perhaps, in this case, it would be well to employ the suggestion of a modern author, and say her "lachrymal,") I say, after all was over, and Mr. Summerville's interesting form was fairly lost in the distance,

    Autobiography of a female slave,

  • It's the explosion of grief, a lachrymal carpet bomb detonated by the wails of men, women, and children all over the world.

    Barry Michael Cooper: Michael Jackson Agonistes: An American Pop'era In Three Acts

  • Pet him until poor lachrymal glands ran dry tears.

    I stop fighting to sleep in her bed

  • Yet this is a myth: hillaries possess lachrymal glands which secrete a proteinaceous fluid, just like in humans, though tears will only be visible after a hillary is out of the water for a prolonged period of time, and dries out.

    "I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards, you know?"

  • You don't have to spend ten years building painstaking expertise in the lachrymal secretions of herring gulls or whatever you've locked yourself into before you can play around.

    Interview with Peter Watts

  • We must be sensibly touched to force the lachrymal gland to compress itself, and to spread its liquor on the orbit of the eye; but the will alone is required to laugh.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • And though I already unabashedly and silently cried with my back turned to Carol and Daniel as they guarded me to sleep in my room after all the stitches, I still needed a healthy lachrymal release – and Joon knowingly drew the tears out.

    A Little Crime Story, Recounted in the First Person

  • I do resort to tissues in some very sad scenes in the movies and especially the Bollywood movies where the sole motive of some directors is to squeeze the audiences' lachrymal glands, a bit sadistic don't you think so?

    Eggless Beet cakes & WBB news

  • A fresh torrent of tears burst from their lachrymal ducts and the vast concourse of people, touched to the inmost core, broke into heartrending sobs, not the least affected being the aged prebendary himself.

    Ulysses

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Comments

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  • This is also found as a noun: Any number of small vases in an ancient Roman sepulchre popularly believed to have been a receptacle for the tears of mourners. I find this definition to be particularly elegant and rather touching.

    June 17, 2008

  • Excellent! Thanks for posting this, muamor!

    March 6, 2008

  • I will not look in it again.
    There the heart in section is a gas mask,
    its windows gone, its hoses severed.
    The spinal cord is a zipper
    & the lower digestive tract
    has been squeezed from a tube like toothpaste.
    All my life I had hoped someday to own
    at least myself, only to find I am
    Flood’s ligaments, the areola of Mamma,
    & zonule of Zinn. Ruffini’s endings
    end in me, & thye band of Gennari lies near
    the island of Reil. Though I am a geography
    greater than even I surmised, containing as I do
    spaces & systems, promontories & at least
    one reservoir, pits, tunnels, crescents,
    demilunes & a daughter star, how can I celebrate
    my incomplete fissures, my hippocampus &
    inferior mental processes, my depressions
    & internal extremities? I encompass also
    ploughshare & gladiolus, iris & wing,
    & the bird’s nest of my cerebellum,
    yet wherever I go I bear the crypts of Lieberkühn,
    & among the possible malfunctionaries,
    floating ribs & wandering cells, Pott’s fracture,
    mottles, abductors, lachrymal bones & aberrant ducts.
    I will ask my wife to knot a jacket for this book,
    & pretend it’s a brick doorstop.
    I will not open Gray’s Anatomy again.

    Brendan Galvin.

    March 5, 2008