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See more synonyms for sunder on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to separate; part; divide; sever.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become separated; part.
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Origin of sunder

before 900; Middle English sundren, Old English sundrian; cognate with German sondern, Old Norse sundra; see sundry
Related formssun·der·a·ble, adjectivesun·der·ance, nounsun·der·er, nounun·sun·dered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

slice, disconnect, divide, disjoin, undo, break, uncouple, part, split, detach, rend

Examples from the Web for sunder

Historical Examples

  • Could I not have riven his body in sunder and strewn it on the waves?

    The Aeneid of Virgil


  • We glare and fume and could gladly see them all maced in sunder with battle-axes.


    Christopher Morley

  • When they could no longer rule the nation, they set out to sunder it.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • I know how many dear and precious ties you must, for a time, sunder.

  • The King hath rent your bonds in sunder, and how do ye repay him?

    Long Will

    Florence Converse

British Dictionary definitions for sunder


  1. to break or cause to break apart or in pieces
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  1. in sunder into pieces; apart
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Derived Formssunderable, adjectivesunderance, nounsunderer, noun

Word Origin

Old English sundrian; related to Old Norse sundr asunder, Gothic sundrō apart, Old High German suntar, Latin sine without
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 sunder


Old English sundrian, from sundor "separately, apart," from Proto-Germanic *sunder (cf. Old Norse sundr, Old Frisian sunder, Old High German suntar "aside, apart"), from PIE root *sen(e)- denoting "separation" (cf. Sanskrit sanutar "far away," Avestan hanare "without," Greek ater "without," Latin sine "without," Old Church Slavonic svene "without," Old Irish sain "different"). Related: Sundered; sundering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper