O.E. rendon "to tear, cut," from W.Gmc. *randijanan (cf. O.Fris. renda "to cut, break," M.L.G. rende "anything broken"), related to rind. Not found in other Gmc. languages.
"payment for use of property," mid-12c., from O.Fr. rente, from V.L. *rendita, properly the fem. pp. of rendere "to render" (see render). The verb is attested from mid-14c., from the noun. Rental (n.) "thing let out for rent" is recorded from 1952, Amer.Eng. Prefix rent-a- first attested 1921, mainly of businesses that rented various makes of car (Rentacar is a trademark registered in U.S. 1924); extended to other "temporary" uses since 1961.
"torn place," 1530s, noun use of M.E. renten "to tear, rend" (mid-14c.), variant of renden (see rend).
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
rent in the Bible
(Isa. 3:24), probably a rope, as rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate and Revised Version, or as some prefer interpreting the phrase, "girdle and robe are torn [i.e., are 'a rent'] by the hand of violence."