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verb, \ˈrend\

Simple Definition of rend

  • : to tear (something) into pieces with force or violence

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of rend

rent play \ˈrent\ also rended play \ˈren-dəd\ rending

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to remove from place by violence :  wrest

  3. 2 :  to split or tear apart or in pieces by violence

  4. 3 :  to tear (the hair or clothing) as a sign of anger, grief, or despair

  5. 4 a :  to lacerate mentally or emotionally b :  to pierce with sound c :  to divide (as a nation) into contesting factions

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to perform an act of tearing or splitting

  8. 2 :  to become torn or split

Examples of rend in a sentence

  1. They rent the cloth to shreds.

  2. mourners rending their clothes in grief

Origin of rend

Middle English, from Old English rendan; akin to OldFrisian renda to tear and perhaps to Sanskrit randhra hole

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of rend

tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive mean to separate forcibly. tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges <tear up the letter>. rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint <ripped the shirt on a nail>. rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering <an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes>. split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers <split logs for firewood>. cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow <a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak>. rive occurs most often in figurative use <a political party riven by conflict>.

Rhymes with rend

REND Defined for Kids


verb \ˈrend\

Definition of rend for Students

rent \ˈrent\rending

  1. :  to tear apart by force

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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