Definition of lachrymatory in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlakrəməˌtôrē/
(also lacrimatory)


technical or literary
Relating to, tending to cause, or containing tears: a lachrymatory secretion
More example sentences
  • Preferably, the explosive slug is placed between the compartment containing the lacrimatory substance and the compartment containing the pyrogenic substance.
  • The lachrymatory factor from an onion activates the nerve endings of pain fibres in the top layer of the cornea, leading to increased production and release of tears.
  • The effect of the lacrimatory factor can be sharply diminished by freezing the onion or submerging the onion in water (diluting the chemical, which is soluble in water) before cutting.

noun (plural lachrymatories)

A vial of a kind found in ancient Roman tombs and thought to be a lachrymal vase.
Example sentences
  • Glass, including lachrymatories, is mentioned as occurring sometimes, but apparently only in small quantities.
  • Ancient Greeks buried their dead with lacrimatories, vials full of mourners' tears.
  • Ancient Greeks, Romans and Hebrews would cry into small vials, or lachrymatories, that would then be sealed and buried with the dead.


Mid 17th century (as a noun denoting a vial): from Latin lacrima, on the pattern of chrismatory.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lach·ry·ma·to·ry

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