The “Reduce to Tears” idiom means to make someone cry. It can be due to a variety of reasons, such as sad news, harsh criticism or the ending of a movie. The phrase is generally used to describe a situation where a person cries due to insults, frustration, and being belittled. For example, “The teacher scolded her so much that by the end of the class, she was reduced to tears.”
The origin of this idiom is not very clear, but it may have something to do with the use of the word ‘reduce’ in military contexts. In the past, when a city or a fortress was captured by an enemy, it was said to be ‘reduced’ or ‘brought to submission’. It often involved violence, destruction, and humiliation for the defeated people.
Usage With Examples
Here are some sentences that use the idiom “reduce to tears” correctly:
- The teacher’s harsh words reduced the student to tears.
- She was so moved by his proposal that she was reduced to tears.
- The comedian’s jokes were so funny that they reduced the audience to tears.
- He was reduced to tears when he saw his dog after a long time.
- The sight of the burning house reduced her to tears.
Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English
Synonyms and Similar Phrases
Given below are some words and phrases that are similar in meaning to the idiom “reduce to tears”:
- Move to tears
- Bring to tears
- Drive to tears
- Make someone cry
- Break someone’s heart
- Beat down
Reduce to Tears Idiom Quiz
Choose the best way to complete the sentence using the idiom “reduce to tears”.
The final exam was so difficult that many students were ______.
A) reduced to tears
B) reduced in tears
C) reduced with tears
D) reduced by tears
The correct answer is A) reduced to tears.
Also Read: Idioms for IELTS
We hope this blog helped you understand the meaning of “reduce to tears” idiom, how to use it correctly in a sentence, and the related words and phrases. Keep following Leverage Edu to explore and learn more idioms like this daily. Happy Learning!