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[rend] /rɛnd/
verb (used with object), rent, rending.
to separate into parts with force or violence:
The storm rent the ship to pieces.
to tear apart, split, or divide:
racial tension that is rending the nation.
to pull or tear violently (often followed by away, off, up, etc.).
to tear (one's garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.
to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.
to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.
verb (used without object), rent, rending.
to split or tear something.
to become torn or split.
Origin of rend
before 950; Middle English renden, Old English rendan; cognate with Old Frisian renda
Related forms
rendible, adjective
2. rive, sunder, sever, cleave, chop, fracture, rupture. See tear2 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I felt the mangling of the appetites Of the black panthers, of the savage kites, That were so fain to rend and pick my flesh.

    Silverpoints John Gray
  • Its action was so terrific that it did not rend or crack metal or stone which it struck.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • And did you see that, at her first words, the veils that covered her began to rend?

  • This was the nation which the Secessionists proposed to rend asunder.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • It was the lion Androcles had met in the desert, and the grateful animal would not rend his benefactor.

  • It pounced upon the body, and began to rend it with teeth and claws.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
  • rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do.

  • I search; I rend the air with my cries; alone silence responds to me.

    Rita Laura E. Richards
  • His agents deceive us; they make treaties and do not keep them; they lie to us, and then we turn upon and rend them.

    Through Apache Lands R. H. Jayne
British Dictionary definitions for rend


verb rends, rending, rent
to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
(transitive) to tear or pull (one's clothes, etc), esp as a manifestation of rage or grief
(transitive) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone
(transitive) to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc)
Derived Forms
rendible, adjective
Word Origin
Old English rendan; related to Old Frisian renda
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
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Word Origin and History for rend

Old English rendan, hrendan "to tear, cut down," from West Germanic *randijanan (cf. Old Frisian renda "to cut, break," Middle Low German rende "anything broken," German Rinde "bark, crust"), probably related to rind. Related: Rended; rent; rending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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