[ rend ]
See synonyms for: rendrendingrent on

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.

  1. to pull or tear violently (often followed by away, off, up, etc.).

  2. to tear (one's garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.

  3. to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.

  4. 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

First recorded before 950; Middle English renden,Old English rendan; cognate with Old Frisian renda

synonym study For rend

1. See tear2.

Other words for rend

Other words from rend

  • rend·i·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use rend in a sentence

  • They contain some of the most exquisite, heart-rending, and thought-provoking writing I have come across.

    A Literary Tribute | Roxanne Coady | September 10, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • No Jewish historian nor scientist mentioned the rending of the veil of the temple, nor the rising of the saints from the dead.

    God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
  • Here the inspector cut short these appeals which were rending every heart present.

    The Circular Study | Anna Katharine Green
  • The gun fell from my hands, and some terrible black thing struck into my brain, tearing, rending.

    Valley of the Croen | Lee Tarbell
  • The most heart-rending events connected with these disasters occurred everywhere throughout the country.

  • The wailings of the damned can never be more heart-rending, as they were driven out, crying, 'O Lord!

    The Boys of '61 | Charles Carleton Coffin.

British Dictionary definitions for rend


/ (rɛnd) /

verbrends, 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

  1. (tr) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone

  2. (tr) to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc)

Origin of rend

Old English rendan; related to Old Frisian renda

Derived forms of rend

  • rendible, adjective

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