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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.
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 rending
  • Good color rending is important and may be critical for tasks involving color matching or evaluation.
  • Occasionally, these hallucinations are heart-rending.
  • My policies cause much anguish and despair among some students, much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
  • One could do without the mandatory meetings and robe rending.
  • Conflict has bred conflict, reopening half-healed tribal and caste divisions and rending new ones.
  • But civilizational collapse, the rending of the established order, has always been part of the slasher's brief.
  • And the stories of loss among the survivors were heart-rending.
  • It's heart-rending, loving so many animals with short life expectancies, they acknowledge.
  • Then the wall opposite me flashed into a golden yellow and dissolved with a rending thunder that hammered my brain into a pulp.
  • The result is a book that's brilliant, funny, heart- and brain-rending and borderline unreadable.
British Dictionary definitions for rending


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 rending



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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