To seize and carry off forcibly.
To deprive (one) of something; bereave.
To rob, plunder, or pillage.
(archaic) To take away by violence; seize; rob.
(archaic) To break, split, tear, or the like.
Origin of reave
- Middle English reven to plunder from Old English rēafian reup- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Middle English reven, from Old English rÄ“afian, from Proto-Germanic *raubōnÄ… (compare West Frisian rave, German rauben, Danish røve), from *raubō (compare Old English rÄ“af 'spoils, booty'), from *reufanÄ… 'to tear' (compare Old English past participle rofen 'torn, broken', Norwegian rjuva), from Proto-Indo-European *Hréup-e/o- (compare Latin rumpere (“to break"), Lithuanian rùpti 'to roughen', Sanskrit ropayati 'to make suffer'). See rob.
- Alteration of rive by confusion with the above.