verb (used with object), rent, rend·ing.

  1. to separate into parts with force or violence: The storm rent the ship to pieces.
  2. to tear apart, split, or divide: racial tension that is rending the nation.
  3. to pull or tear violently (often followed by away, off, up, etc.).
  4. to tear (one’s garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.
  5. to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.
  6. to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.

verb (used without object), rent, rend·ing.

  1. to split or tear something.
  2. to become torn or split.

verb rends, rending or rent

  1. to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
  2. (tr) to tear or pull (one’s clothes, etc), esp as a manifestation of rage or grief
  3. (tr) (of a noise or cry) to disturb (the air, silence, etc) with a shrill or piercing tone
  4. (tr) to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc)

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.

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