Origin of tore2
verb (used without object)
Origin of tear1
verb (used with object), tore or (Archaic) tare, torn or (Archaic) tare, tear·ing.
verb (used without object), tore or (Archaic) tare, torn or (Archaic) tare, tear·ing.
- to pluck violently at; attempt to tear: She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
- to distress; afflict: remorse that tears at one's soul.
- to pull down; destroy; demolish.
- to disparage or discredit: to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
- to attack impulsively and heedlessly: He tore into the food with a will.
- to attack verbally: She tore into him for being late for dinner.
- to tear into small shreds: He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
- to cancel or annul: to tear up a contract.
Origin of tear2
Related Words for torerive, pull, divide, injure, mangle, separate, damage, snatch, break, shred, split, slash, crack, grab, yank, rupture, sever, wrench, shoot, rush
Examples from the Web for tore
Contemporary Examples of tore
He tore a piece of meat off the breast and stroked her coat while she ate.The Stacks: A Chicken Dinner That Mends Your Heart
December 7, 2014
[Me and George] met at the Venice Film Festival years ago, and sort of tore the place up.Bill Murray’s Words of Wisdom: On Comedy, the Greatness of In-N-Out, and Searching For Great Love
October 10, 2014
When his turn arrived Daylyt said nothing, tore off the mask, and rent his clothes, removing his microphone in the process.America’s Poets: Battle Rap Gets Real
July 15, 2014
Columnist Art Buchwald, then engaged in a long-running feud with Alsop, tore the photos up.Gay Men and the Presidents Who Loved Them
June 24, 2014
“These vehicles are just twisted and tore up in pieces,” Pennington said.Rescue Efforts Were Delayed Following Deadly Landslide in Washington
March 26, 2014
Historical Examples of tore
Then he stopped, tore off his shirt, and ripped it with his right hand and his teeth into strips.Way of the Lawless
All you had to do when you got it inside a man was to turn it round a bit, and the wound gaped and tore.Viviette
William J. Locke
The bond was delivered to Fox, who tore it up and flung the pieces into the fire.De Libris: Prose and Verse
Well, I tore myself away from the dear place to get at my work.The Bacillus of Beauty
He tore out the list and put it in his pocket; then he sat for a time, thinking.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Word Origin for tore
Word Origin for tear
verb tears, tearing, tore or torn
Word Origin for tear
1650s, mainly in American English, from tear (n.1). Related: Teared; tearing. Old English verb tæherian did not survive into Middle English.
"act of ripping or rending," 1660s, from tear (v.1).
"water from the eye," Old English tear, from earlier teahor, tæhher, from Proto-Germanic *takh-, *tagr- (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian tar, Old High German zahar, German Zähre, Gothic tagr "tear"), from PIE *dakru-/*draku- (cf. Latin lacrima, Old Latin dacrima, Irish der, Welsh deigr, Greek dakryma). Tear gas first recorded 1917.
"pull apart," Old English teran (class IV strong verb; past tense tær, past participle toren), from Proto-Germanic *teran (cf. Old Saxon terian, Middle Dutch teren "to consume," Old High German zeran "to destroy," German zehren, Gothic ga-tairan "to tear, destroy"), from PIE *der- "tear" (cf. Sanskrit drnati "cleaves, bursts," Greek derein "to flay," Armenian terem "I flay," Old Church Slavonic dera "to burst asunder," Breton darn "piece").
The Old English past tense survived long enough to get into Bible translations as tare before giving place 17c. to tore, which is from the old past participle toren. Sense of "to pull by force" (away from some situation or attachment) is attested from late 13c. To be torn between two things (desires, loyalties, etc.) is from 1871.
In addition to the idioms beginning with tear
- tear apart
- tear around
- tear at
- tear away
- tear down
- tear into
- tear it
- tear off
- tear one's hair
- rip (tear) into
- wear and tear
Also see undertearstorn.