asun·der | \ ə-ˈsən-dər \

Definition of asunder 

1 : into parts torn asunder

2 : apart from each other … he staggered away, with his legs very wide asunder. —Charles Dickens

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Synonyms & Antonyms for asunder

Synonyms

apart, piecemeal

Antonyms

together

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Did You Know?

Asunder dates from the 14th century and can be traced back to the Old English word sundor, meaning "apart." It is a relative of the verb sunder, which means "to break apart or in two" or "to become parted or severed." The "into parts" sense of asunder is often used in the phrase tear asunder, which can be used both literally and figuratively (as in "a family torn asunder by tragedy"). The "separated in position" sense can be found in the phrase poles asunder, used to describe two things that are as vastly far apart as the poles of the Earth.

Examples of asunder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Picture pleading eyes and hear limbs being torn asunder. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "Sci-Fi Invades Netflix—as They Both Invade Your Home," 9 July 2018 Somehow, though, the answers never add up, nor do the details that convincingly define a life torn asunder. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Carey Mulligan Tells a Harrowing Tale of ‘Girls & Boys’," 27 June 2018 Every time this happens, family members and friends of the victims have their lives torn asunder in an instant. Alexander Tsai, STAT, "When police officers kill unarmed blacks, it affects blacks’ mental health across the country," 27 June 2018 But half a year away from that milestone, the group’s dynamic was torn asunder in the last weeks of 2017 by the death of Jonghyun, who passed at the age of 27. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "SHINee Talks 'The Story of Light' Series and 10th Anniversary," 15 June 2018 Like O'Neill's masterpiece, Buried Child focuses on a spiritually bankrupt family torn asunder and glued together by unspeakable secrets. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Writers Theatre's Buried Child sacrifices Sam Shepard's ghoulish humor for tragedy," 23 May 2018 Someday, in my opinion, and maybe soon, the Rajneesh cult will break asunder. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Last Year at Rajneeshpuram?," 12 Apr. 2018 All week, Bitegate has torn the nation asunder—and now, the late night world has finally waded in, with James Corden and Stephen Colbert (must have been a CBS-wide mandate, huh?) both dedicating segments to diving into the case. Yohana Desta, HWD, "James Corden and Stephen Colbert Are Determined to Solve Beyoncé Bitegate," 30 Mar. 2018 In the process, the two great reformist movements of their day — the Renaissance, embodied in Erasmus, and the Reformation, embodied in Luther — were torn asunder. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, New York Times, "Erasmus vs. Luther — a Rift That Defined the Course of Western Civilization," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asunder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of asunder

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for asunder

see sunder

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Time Traveler for asunder

The first known use of asunder was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for asunder

asunder

adverb
asun·der | \ ə-ˈsən-dər \

Kids Definition of asunder

: into parts torn asunder

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