a simple past tense and past participle of reave. Unabridged


1 [reev]
verb (used with object), reaved or reft, reaving. Archaic.
to take away by or as by force; plunder; rob.

before 900; Middle English reven, Old English rēafian; cognate with German rauben, Dutch roven to rob


2 [reev]
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), reaved or reft, reaving.
Archaic. to rend; break; tear.

1175–1225; Middle English; apparently special use of reave1 (by association with rive) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
reave1 (riːv)
vb (foll by of) , reaves, reaving, reaved, reft
1.  to carry off (property, prisoners, etc) by force
2.  See also reive to deprive; strip
[Old English reāfian; related to Old High German roubōn to rob, Old Norse raufa to break open]

reave2 (riːv)
vb , reaves, reaving, reaved, reft
archaic to break or tear (something) apart; cleave
[C13 reven, probably from reave1 and influenced in meaning by rive]

reft (rɛft)
a past tense and past participle of reave

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1847, pp. of reave, from O.E. reafian "to rob something from someone," from P.Gmc. *rauthojan (cf. O.Fris. raf, M.Du. roof, Ger. Raub). The ground sense seems to be that of "breaking."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The maiden cried out, first because her flowers had been spilled, and then because she was being reft away.
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