c. 1300, blere, of the eyes, "watery, rheumy, sore or dimmed with watery discharge," from or related to blear (v.). Compare Middle High German blerre "having blurred vision," Low German bleeroged "blear-eyed."
"to dim (the vision) with tears, rheum, etc.," also "to have watery or rheumy eyes," early 14c., of uncertain origin, possibly from an unrecorded Old English *blerian, which is perhaps related to blur. Related: Bleared; blearing.
updated on October 14, 2022