adverb or adjective
asun·​der | \ ə-ˈsən-dər How to pronounce asunder (audio) \

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



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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 But they were torn asunder by the conquerors from Baltimore. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "What happens between the Browns and Bengals in Week 2: Spoiler Alert," 16 Sep. 2020 Money and power and the death of the family icon can rip a family — and a football franchise — asunder. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Lunch Special: Could Colorado Rockies hockey have thrived if the NHL franchise didn’t move to New Jersey?," 6 Apr. 2020 Beginning in the 1950s, the Albina neighborhood was torn asunder. oregonlive, "Gov. Kate Brown: I-5 Rose Quarter widening will not happen without support of Portland’s Black community," 1 July 2020 Their people have been drawn together more than they have been pulled asunder. The Economist, "Black business matters," 12 June 2020 While students in Katy ISD have seen their years thrown asunder by the COVID-19 outbreak, the district is continuing to work on making sure seniors have the annual rites of passage to remember the Class of 2020 by. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD schedules backup dates for graduation, prom," 14 Apr. 2020 The scrolling feeds on social media and the live updates on websites pull us together and yet, in the same moment, effortlessly cast us asunder. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "The Pandemic Imagination," 16 Mar. 2020 Yugoslavia, ripped asunder by sustained violence, massacres and displacement, produced far more coverage and even new nations. Washington Post, "‘End of history’? 30 years on, does that idea still hold up?," 7 Nov. 2019 Our culture is ripped asunder, and there’s not a lot that holds us together anymore. New York Times, "The Week in Arts: Alton Brown Returns; Lil Nas X Plays the Hit," 24 Aug. 2019

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

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

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Asunder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for asunder


asun·​der | \ ə-ˈsən-dər How to pronounce asunder (audio) \

Kids Definition of asunder

: into parts torn asunder

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Comments on asunder

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