verb (used with object), rent, rend·ing.
  1. to separate into parts with force or violence: The storm rent the ship to pieces.
  2. to tear apart, split, or divide: racial tension that is rending the nation.
  3. to pull or tear violently (often followed by away, off, up, etc.).
  4. to tear (one's garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.
  5. to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.
  6. to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.
verb (used without object), rent, rend·ing.
  1. to split or tear something.
  2. 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

Examples from the Web for rended

Historical Examples of rended

  • If they could have caught him they would have rended him limb from limb, so violent was their rage.

    The Story of John Paul Jones

    Chelsea Curtis Fraser

  • On no other hypothesis can we account for the ferocity with which Johnson turned and rended him.

    Modern Essays

    John Macy

  • The church roof is of wood, and shingles of rended oak occupy the place of the usual tiles.

  • Curiously enough the "Minga Bunch," the devil-may-care, unrestrained crowd had turned and rended its gay little leader.

    Under the Law

    Edwina Stanton Babcock

  • He turned on himself and rended his soul into shreds rather than join in the affirmations of recognised faith.


    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for rended


verb rends, rending or rent
  1. to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
  2. (tr) to tear or pull (one's clothes, etc), esp as a manifestation of rage or grief
  3. (tr) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone
  4. (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 rended



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