Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To blur or redden (the eyes).
  • transitive v. To blur; dim.
  • adj. Bleary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. dim, unclear from water or rheum.
  • v. To make blurred or dim, especially the eyes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Dim or sore with water or rheum; -- said of the eyes.
  • adj. Causing or caused by dimness of sight; dim.
  • transitive v. To make somewhat sore or watery, as the eyes; to dim, or blur, as the sight. Figuratively: To obscure (mental or moral perception); to blind; to hoodwink.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To affect (the eyes) with flowing tears or rheum so that the sight is dimmed and indistinct; make rheumy and dim: as, “blered her eyes,”
  • To blur, as the face with weeping; obscure; obfuscate.
  • To blear one's eyes, figuratively, to deceive; hoodwink; blind.
  • To have bleared or inflamed eyes; be blear-eyed.
  • Sore or dim from a watery discharge or other superficial affection: applied only to the eyes.
  • Producing dimness of vision; blinding.
  • Dim; indistinct; confused in outlines.
  • n. Something that obscures the sight.
  • To thrust (out); protrude: with out.
  • To thrust out the tongue in mockery.

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

  • v. make dim or indistinct
  • adj. tired to the point of exhaustion

Etymologies

Middle English bleren.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Of uncertain origin; perhaps related to blur. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Emperor grew more weak-legged and blear-eyed what of the ingenious deviltries devised for him by

    Chapter 15

  • But my poor blear eyes like a bat's, startled me at my shadow on the flagstones.

    Chapter 22

  • They sat down together on the floor, and she patted Frona's hand lovingly, peering, meanwhile, blear-eyed and misty, into her face.

    CHAPTER 2

  • A blear-eyed ancient stood before him, balancing on a single crutch.

    CHAPTER 2

  • (London received $530 for this story on August 14, 1905.) "TO cook by your fire and to sleep under your roof for the night," I had announced on entering old Ebbits's cabin; and he had looked at me blear-eyed and vacuous, while Zilla had favored me with a sour face and a contemptuous grunt.

    The White Man's Way

  • I had announced on entering old Ebbits's cabin; and he had looked at me blear-eyed and vacuous, while Zilla had favored me with a sour face and a contemptuous grunt.

    THE WHITE MAN'S WAY

  • The chief was alone with his blear-eyed wife, but a glance sufficed to tell Mackenzie that the news was already told.

    The Sun of the Wolf

  • Then How-ha's eyes went blear as she traversed the simple windings of her own brain, inspecting the bare shelves taciturnly stored with the impressions of a meagre life.

    CHAPTER 19

  • He remembered the days when some of the old men, still alive, had been born; and, unlike him, they were now decrepit, shaken with palsy, blear-eyed, toothless of mouth, deaf of ear, or paralysed.

    CHAPTER XI

  • In "The White Man's Way" (New York Tribune Sunday Magazine, November 4, 1906), Old Ebbits, "blear-eyed and vacuous," and his wife Zilla ( "no more bitter-tongued, implacable old squaw dwelt on the Yukon") are visited by a white man who shares his moose meat, tea and tobacco with them.

    “I ain't never goin' to work again. . . . I'm plum tired out.”

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