Meaning of "reduce you to tears"

I encountered a passage where it uses the phrase reduce you to tears. Could sombody help me to explain the meaning? Is it the same as the phrase to make you cry?

Complete passage :

While you’re on the phone, the baby pulls the table-cloth off the table, smashing half your best crockery and cutting himself in the process. You hang up hurriedly and attend to baby, crockery, etc. Meanwhile, the meal gets burnt. As if this were not enough to reduce you to tears, your husband arrives, unexpectedly bringin 3 guests to dinner.

Please advise.


Yes Iyliea … that’s exactly what it means.


The expression suggests that the circumstances have had such a bad effect on your nerves that you start to cry. Someone can also reduce another person to tears by shouting at them, making them feel worthless or making unpleasant and nasty remarks to them. The ‘reducing’ refers to the gradual loss of your self control. It can also be used in a more pleasant way by ‘reducing someone to laughter’.


Thank you all for your reply. :slight_smile: