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[hahrt-ren-ding] /ˈhɑrtˌrɛn dɪŋ/
causing or expressing intense grief, anguish, or distress.
Origin of heartrending
1680-90; heart + rending
Related forms
heartrendingly, adverb
Can be confused
gut-wrenching, heartrending. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heartrending
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Historical Examples
  • The day of parting came, and most bitter and heartrending it was.

    Eric Frederic William Farrar
  • It is in this district that the loss of life has been heartrending.

    The Johnstown Horror James Herbert Walker
  • What had brought the leader back was the look of heartrending yearning in the gray eyes of a tattered little boy.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • But, to take the pigs back again; it was too heartrending to think of.

    Our Frank Amy Walton
  • To his subjects, to his allies, to the bondmen who looked to him for redress and deliverance, his loss was a heartrending sorrow.

  • The case of Nick, although sore enough in its way, was not so heartrending as that of Kate.

    Ridgeway Scian Dubh
  • Dona Luisa would weep, touched by the heartrending tales of the messenger.

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Vicente Blasco Ibanez
  • The next morning there came a heartrending letter from Aunt Ju.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • At that moment she was in her bedroom, packing a trunk, making a pile of her effects—a heartrending occupation.

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