Definitions

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

  • adj. Filled with or accompanied by tears: tearful eyes; a tearful farewell.
  • adj. So piteous as to excite tears: a tearful melodrama.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. accompanied by tears.
  • adj. sorrowful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Abounding with tears; weeping; shedding tears.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of tears; shedding tears; weeping; mourning.
  • Giving occasion for tears; mournful; melancholy.

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

  • adj. filled with or marked by tears
  • adj. showing sorrow

Etymologies

tear +‎ -ful (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When she heard his words, she wept and sobbed, and the merchant said to her, O my lady, I observe that, every time I mention Baghdad, thine eyes are tearful: is there any one there whom thou lovest?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • "Do you call a tearful interview with the mother of an accused killer unbiased?"

    Sweet Anger

  • She could only press her lips in tearful silence to the one and the other of her mother's cheeks alternately.

    The Wide, Wide World

  • What more can be said as we gather in tearful reverence around his bier?

    An Address in Commemoration of Abraham Lincoln

  • A source tells E! that Britney was "tearful" - in a good way!

    E! Online (US) - Top Stories

  • Watching the Supreme Leader calling the tearful Basiji to arms, it struck me that the worst thing Bush/Cheney and the neocons did was to trivialize what is evil about our enemies as they devalued what is good about us.

    Ian Masters: The Axis of Dictators

  • "My grandmother was a prayin 'woman," recalled a tearful Robert Lavala, pastor of a bikers 'church in Las Vegas.

    The Gospel Of Guyhood

  • He was very tearful, which is not like him - he is usually very optimistic.

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  • He recalled a tearful discussion with his mother in a car after dropping off his brother, who was being sent to Iraq, at a military base.

    Celebrity Gossip - Rumorficial

  • Instead, the existence of an RCMP email, previously overlooked (or so we're told by a "tearful" federal government lawyer) may delay that concluding phase.

    Archive 2009-06-01

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