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


apart, piecemeal



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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

The division in the country where there were times where people were thinking the country was going to be torn asunder. Fox News, "The unhinged left," 8 Aug. 2018 Under good experimental conditions, the very fabric of space and time are torn asunder, testing quantum electrodynamics to destruction. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Trampoline mirror may push laser pulse through fabric of the Universe," 14 Sep. 2019 Anyone watching the two parts ripped asunder at an Ebbets Field turnstile would have experienced a special kind of separation anxiety. Steve Rushin,, "The Death of Paper Tickets and the Stories They Leave Behind," 12 Sep. 2019 In other words, what Donald Trump and Robert Mueller have rent asunder, Google and Facebook have joined together. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "The House Judiciary Committee Considers Antitrust Law, the Tech Giants, and the Future of News," 14 June 2019 The hills that split asunder and the black that ate the skies; The flames that shot so high and hot that even dragons burned; Would never be the final sights that fell upon their eyes. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where Did Drogon Take Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones Finale?," 20 May 2019 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

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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Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for asunder

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

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

Kids Definition of asunder

: into parts torn asunder

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More from Merriam-Webster on asunder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asunder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for asunder

Spanish Central: Translation of asunder

Nglish: Translation of asunder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asunder for Arabic Speakers

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