torn

[ tawrn, tohrn ]
/ tɔrn, toʊrn /

verb

past participle of tear2.

Nearby words

  1. torino,
  2. torment,
  3. tormentil,
  4. tormentor,
  5. tormé,
  6. torn between, be,
  7. tornadic,
  8. tornado,
  9. tornado belt,
  10. tornaria

Related formsun·torn, adjective

tear

1
[ teer ]
/ tɪər /

noun

a drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and keep them clear of foreign particles.
this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, especially grief: to shed tears.
something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, especially having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other: teardrop earrings.
Glassmaking. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
tears, grief; sorrow.

verb (used without object)

to fill up and overflow with tears, as the eyes (often followed by up): My eyes were tearing in the wind. He teared up when he heard the news.

Origin of tear

1
before 900; (noun) Middle English teer, Old English tēar, tehher, taeher; cognate with Old High German zahar, Old Norse tār, Gothic tagr, Greek dákry, Latin lacrima (see lachrymal); (v.) Middle English teren, Old English teheran, in teherende (gerund), derivative of the noun

Origin of tear

2
before 900; Middle English teren (v.), Old English teran; cognate with Dutch teren, German zehren to consume, Gothic distairan to destroy, Greek dérein to flay

Related formstear·a·ble, adjectivetear·a·ble·ness, nountear·er, nounun·tear·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

1. Tear, rend, rip mean to pull apart. To tear is to split the fibers of something by pulling apart, usually so as to leave ragged or irregular edges: to tear open a letter. Rend implies force or violence in tearing apart or in pieces: to rend one's clothes in grief. Rip implies vigorous tearing asunder, especially along a seam or line: to rip the sleeves out of a coat.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for torn


British Dictionary definitions for torn

torn

/ (tɔːn) /

verb

the past participle of tear 1 (def. 2)
that's torn it British slang an unexpected event or circumstance has upset one's plans

adjective

split or cut
divided or undecided, as in preferencehe was torn between staying and leaving

tear

1
/ (tɪə) /

noun

a drop of the secretion of the lacrimal glandsSee tears
something shaped like a hanging dropa tear of amber
Also called (esp Brit): teardrop

Derived Formstearless, adjective

Word Origin for tear

Old English tēar, related to Old Frisian, Old Norse tār, Old High German zahar, Greek dakri

tear

2
/ (tɛə) /

verb tears, tearing, tore or torn

noun


Derived Formstearable, adjectivetearer, noun

Word Origin for tear

Old English teran; related to Old Saxon terian, Gothic gatairan to destroy, Old High German zeran to destroy

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 torn
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for torn

tear

[ tîr ]

A drop of the clear salty liquid secreted by glands (lacrimal glands) in the eyes. Tears wet the membrane covering the eye and help rid the eye of irritating substances.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with torn

tear

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

also see:

  • rip (tear) into
  • wear and tear

Also see undertearstorn.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.