- a story that is purposefully sentimental
- something that evokes sadness
- typically a film or a song that makes people sad or sympathetic
- This movie is a total tear-jerking for anyone who has lost a parent.
- My heart goes out to such tear-jerkers.
- This song will surely be a tear-jerking for you, I just know it.
- All the nominations for the award this year are tear-jerkers. I don't like any one of them.
- She always goes for the tear-jerking movies, can we please see a comedy tonight?
- Chinese's favourite movies have all been tear-jerking about people moving away from their families in order to find work.
- Such tear-jerkers tend to make a lot of sense to people who have experienced these emotions in real life.
The phrase comes from the fact that there are some emotional movies and songs that drive people to tears. The origin is believed to have been from the 19th century in England where popular entertainment channels were books and plays. The ones that would move people to tears were soon becoming popular and this phrase became all the more relevant with the advent of movies and music videos in the latter half of the century.