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See more synonyms for reave on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), reaved or reft, reav·ing. Archaic.
  1. to take away by or as by force; plunder; rob.
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Origin of reave1

before 900; Middle English reven, Old English rēafian; cognate with German rauben, Dutch roven to rob


verb (used with or without object), reaved or reft, reav·ing.
  1. Archaic. to rend; break; tear.
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Origin of reave2

1175–1225; Middle English; apparently special use of reave1 (by association with rive)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for reave

Historical Examples

  • I am doing what I can to reave the heavens of these monsters.

    The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 7 (of 12)

    Robert G. Ingersoll

  • But they try to reave from God, His part, who would be praised of men for good deeds.

  • Not forty Van Hupfeldts nor a legion of ghosts should reave him of those telling pieces of evidence!

    The Late Tenant

    Louis Tracy

British Dictionary definitions for reave


verb reaves, reaving, reaved or reft (rɛft) archaic
  1. to carry off (property, prisoners, etc) by force
  2. (tr foll by of) to deprive; stripSee also reive
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Word Origin

Old English reāfian; related to Old High German roubōn to rob, Old Norse raufa to break open


verb reaves, reaving, reaved or reft (rɛft)
  1. archaic to break or tear (something) apart; cleave
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Word Origin

C13 reven, probably from reave 1 and influenced in meaning by rive
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

Word Origin and History for reave


Old English reafian "to rob (something from someone), plunder, pillage," from Proto-Germanic *raubjon (cf. Old Frisian ravia, Middle Dutch roven, Dutch rooven, Old High German roubon, German rauben), from PIE *reup- "to snatch" (see rip (v.)). Related: Reaved; reaving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper