asunder

adverb or adjective

asun·​der ə-ˈsən-dər How to pronounce asunder (audio)
1
: into parts
torn asunder
2
: apart from each other
… he staggered away, with his legs very wide asunder. Charles Dickens

Did you know?

Asunder 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 "to become parted, disunited, 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 "apart from each other" 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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Following actor Chadwick Boseman’s untimely and tragic passing in 2020, all plans for a sequel to 2018’s wildly successful and beloved Black Panther featuring its title character were torn asunder. WIRED, 10 Nov. 2022 And then perhaps, in a dramatic gesture for his rowdy minions and the senators and the congressmen and the television cameras and the whole world watching, Donald Trump with his own two hands would have torn those tokens of legitimacy asunder. Mark Danner, The New York Review of Books, 6 Jan. 2021 Three types of dragons House of the Dragon chronicles the events leading up to and during the Dance of the Dragons, the name given by the poets of Westeros to a gruesome civil war that tore House Targaryen asunder. Nick Romano, EW.com, 11 Aug. 2022 Baltic coast appears an unlikely setting for a reunion of an extended family torn asunder by the Holocaust. Penny Schwartz, Sun Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2022 In their final battle, Obi-Wan slashes Anakin's dark helmet asunder, revealing half a skinless zitface with no apparent eyelids. Darren Franich, EW.com, 22 June 2022 The pandemic has rent asunder that global compact; this is a major risk because the global economy is still inter-connected and financial ripples that begin in one corner of the world can turn into tsunamis in another, including in India. Rajrishi Singhal, Quartz, 10 Feb. 2022 The mission was one of faith, compassion and care toward the innocents in Ukraine whose country was invaded and torn asunder by Russian forces beginning on Feb. 24, 2022 — over 130 days ago now. Fox News, 5 July 2022 Hawkins descends into religious hysteria: real Crucible stuff, neighbor-against-neighbor, a small town torn asunder. Darren Franich, EW.com, 5 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

see sunder

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Dictionary Entries Near asunder

Cite this Entry

“Asunder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asunder. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

asunder

adverb or adjective

asun·​der ə-ˈsən-dər How to pronounce asunder (audio)
1
: into parts
torn asunder
2
: far apart

More from Merriam-Webster on asunder

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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