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[suhn-der] /ˈsʌn dər/
verb (used with object)
to separate; part; divide; sever.
verb (used without object)
to become separated; part.
Origin of sunder
before 900; Middle English sundren, Old English sundrian; cognate with German sondern, Old Norse sundra; see sundry
Related forms
sunderable, adjective
sunderance, noun
sunderer, noun
unsundered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sundered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For never shall being from being be sundered so as to lose its continuity by dispersion or recombination.

  • He was obliged to repeat the stroke again and again before the neck was sundered.

    Pyrrhus Jacob Abbott
  • The ties of such things have been sundered by his trials, and his heart is free to rise above the anxieties of time.

  • The loss of the Jean on Ealan Dubh had sundered him for ever from his life of voyaging.

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • So they sundered into two companies, and one took one way and one another.

  • One after another the bonds that held me to it had snapped and sundered.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • Therefore is Space, and therefore Time, that man may know that things are not huddled and lumped, but sundered and individual.

    Nature Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Look to that future where the sundered ties of earth are reunited.

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • The next day—the day our sundered nation was born Vicksburg surrendered: the obstinate man with the mighty force had conquered.

    The Crisis, Complete Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for sundered


to break or cause to break apart or in pieces
in sunder, into pieces; apart
Derived Forms
sunderable, adjective
sunderance, noun
sunderer, noun
Word Origin
Old English sundrian; related to Old Norse sundr asunder, Gothic sundrō apart, Old High German suntar, Latin sine without
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 sundered



Old English sundrian, from sundor "separately, apart," from Proto-Germanic *sunder (cf. Old Norse sundr, Old Frisian sunder, Old High German suntar "aside, apart"), from PIE root *sen(e)- denoting "separation" (cf. Sanskrit sanutar "far away," Avestan hanare "without," Greek ater "without," Latin sine "without," Old Church Slavonic svene "without," Old Irish sain "different"). Related: Sundered; sundering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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