verb (used with object), rent, rend·ing.

verb (used without object), rent, rend·ing.

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 formsrend·i·ble, adjective

Synonyms for rend Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of rend

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British Dictionary definitions for rend


verb rends, rending or rent

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)
Derived Formsrendible, adjective

Word Origin for rend

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

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