- torn between, be,
- tornado belt,
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
Examples from the Web for torn
It's about the delicate fabric of the universe and how our fragile insides crumble when that fabric is torn.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the picture is torn in half by the geographic separation of the friezes.Britain Has Lost Its Marbles: Elgin Loan Will Appease Putin|Geoffrey Robertson|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But in 2002, the Park family was torn apart when he was arrested for illegal trading and sentenced to 17 years in prison.How ‘Titanic ’Helped This Brave Young Woman Escape North Korea’s Totalitarian State|Lizzie Crocker|October 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Female video game developers like Zoe Quinn have been torn apart and harassed for fabricated scandals.Is ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Immune to GamerGate Misogyny?|David Levesley|October 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Oscar winning actress has been torn to shreds by the media and public for her altered face.Renee Zellweger’s Fine, But We Need Some Work: The Toxic Pursuit of ‘Effortless’ Beauty|Amanda Marcotte|October 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Teeny-bits stood up stiffly and began to pull on his torn sweater, while the two Chinese watched him with fascinated eyes.The Mark of the Knife|Clayton H. Ernst
Then he began to be sore perplexed, and torn with agonising doubts.Hard Cash|Charles Reade
But by this time Jasmine had torn the envelope open, and was oblivious to all Daisy's comments.The Palace Beautiful|L. T. Meade
Figures tumbled out of it, in torn and ragged garments fashioned in the style of the very best tailors of the Earths underworld.The Fifth-Dimension Tube|William Fitzgerald Jenkins
She noticed that my dress was torn and flowers crushed, but said, what was quite true, that no one would remark it in the crowd.Letters of a Diplomat's Wife|Mary King Waddington
Word Origin for tear
verb tears, tearing, tore or torn
Word Origin for tear
past participle of tear (v.); from Old English getoren.
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.