- 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.
- to split or tear something.
- to become torn or split.
Origin of rend
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rending
“Heche's scenes with Depp have a rending poignancy,” Rolling Stone reviewed.Mob Wives of Hollywood
April 22, 2011
She managed it with difficulty between the convulsions that were rending her.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
By a rending effort of the will he woke the rest of the room up.Howards End
E. M. Forster
There was a cracking and rending of timbers, and the water rushed in.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
It's the devil that has entered into his heart and is rending him.The Manxman
With a rending crash it gave, and they fell sprawling into the cabin.
- to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
- (tr) to tear or pull (one's clothes, etc), esp as a manifestation of rage or grief
- (tr) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone
- (tr) to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc)
Word Origin and History for rending
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.