Lacrimal Gland

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tears, watery secretion of the lacrimal gland, which is located at the outer corner of the eye socket immediately above the eyeball. Tearing, or lacrimation, is a continuous and largely involuntary process stimulated by the autonomic nervous system. Fluid is secreted into the lacrimal lake, the area between the eyeball and the upper eyelid, and spread across the surface of the eye by blinking. Tears serve to bathe and lubricate the cornea, the sensitive outer covering of the eyeball. Typically, the fluid either evaporates or is drained off through tiny canals at the inner corner of the eye, but in times of excessive tearing the apparatus is overwhelmed and tears overflow the eyes.


See T. Lutz, Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears (1999).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lacrimal Gland


a small tubuloalveolar gland secreting tears that bathe and moisten the anterior surfaces of the eyeball and conjunctiva. The lacrimal gland is lodged in a depression of the frontal bone at the outer angle of the orbit. The conjunctiva also has small accessory lacrimal glands that are portions of the lacrimal gland. The efferent ducts of the lacrimal gland open into the conjunctival sac. The gland is innervated by secretory centrifugal fibers of the facial nerve.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

lacrimal gland

[′lak·rə·məl ‚gland]
A compound tubuloalveolar gland that secretes tears. Also known as tear gland.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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