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[rend] /rɛnd/
verb (used with object), rent, rending.
to separate into parts with force or violence:
The storm rent the ship to pieces.
to tear apart, split, or divide:
racial tension that is rending the nation.
to pull or tear violently (often followed by away, off, up, etc.).
to tear (one's garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.
to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.
to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.
verb (used without object), rent, rending.
to split or tear something.
to become torn or split.
Origin of rend
before 950; Middle English renden, Old English rendan; cognate with Old Frisian renda
Related forms
rendible, adjective
2. rive, sunder, sever, cleave, chop, fracture, rupture. See tear2 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are the great problem of mankind; they rend the heart with pity.

  • They rend the heart with pity all the more for the reason that there is no sense in their poverty.

  • There's that in his heart which can tear and rend; and there's that which can build.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Then would the voice especially claim us for its prey, and rend us all to pieces.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • The world is quick to turn and rend with ridicule a false prophet.

  • Unable to rend the tough fabric, it resorted to another method.

    The Bluff of the Hawk Anthony Gilmore
  • I would talk of what was troubling me, and not try to rend my heart in pieces.

  • They bear our name; how could he understand the divisions that rend us asunder?

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • There is nothing we cherish and strive to draw to us but in some hour we turn and rend it.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
British Dictionary definitions for rend


verb rends, rending, rent
to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
(transitive) to tear or pull (one's clothes, etc), esp as a manifestation of rage or grief
(transitive) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone
(transitive) to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc)
Derived Forms
rendible, adjective
Word Origin
Old English rendan; related to Old Frisian renda
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rend

Old English rendan, hrendan "to tear, cut down," from West Germanic *randijanan (cf. Old Frisian renda "to cut, break," Middle Low German rende "anything broken," German Rinde "bark, crust"), probably related to rind. Related: Rended; rent; rending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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