- To rend is to tear something into pieces, to wrench something violently or to cause great emotional pain.
- When you rip up a piece of fabric into multiple pieces, this is an example of a time when you rend the fabric.
- When you yank money out of your friend's hands despite his protests, this is an example of a time when you rend the money.
- When you leave your girlfriend broken hearted after you dump her, this is an example of a time when you rend her emotions.
rend definition by Webster's New World
- to tear, pull, or rip with violence: with from, off, away, etc.
- to tear, pull apart, rip up, or split with violence [a tree rent by lightning]: often used figuratively [a roar rends the air]
- to tear (one's clothing) to show grief, anguish, etc.
Origin: Middle English renden ; from Old English rendan, akin to Old Frisian renda ; from Indo-European base an unverified form rendh-, to tear apart from source rind, Sanskrit randhram, fissure, split
rend definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb rent rent or rend·ed, rend·ing, rends verb, transitive
- To tear or split apart or into pieces violently. See Synonyms at tear1.
- To tear (one's garments or hair) in anguish or rage.
- To tear away forcibly; wrest.
- To pull, split, or divide as if by tearing: “Chip was rent between the impulse to laugh wildly and a bitterness that threatened hot tears” (Louis Auchincloss).
- To pierce or disturb with sound: a scream rent the silence.
- To cause pain or distress to: tales that rend the heart.
Origin: Middle English renden, from Old English rendan.