sun·​der | \ ˈsən-dər How to pronounce sunder (audio) \
sundered; sundering\ ˈsən-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce sunder (audio) \

Definition of sunder

transitive verb

: to break apart or in two : separate by or as if by violence or by intervening time or space

intransitive verb

: to become parted, disunited, or severed

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Choose the Right Synonym for sunder

separate, part, divide, sever, sunder, divorce mean to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed. separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing. separated her personal life from her career part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association. vowed never to part divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking. civil war divided the nation sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member. a severed limb sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart. a city sundered by racial conflict divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

Examples of sunder in a Sentence

a family sundered by scandal during the cold war East and West Berlin were sundered by an impenetrable wall
Recent Examples on the Web According to the WeChat users group, Trump’s Aug. 6 order would sunder the primary and often exclusive channel many U.S. residents use to communicate with family and friends in both China and the U.S. Edvard Pettersson,, "WeChat Users Won’t Be Targeted by Trump’s Order, U.S. Says," 16 Sep. 2020 Cherry told other stories from that time: affairs, gruesome deaths, hearts sundered by grief. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, "In Search of Lost Sailboats," 10 Sep. 2019 During that time friendships have been sundered, garments rended, pearls clutched and block buttons exhausted. Eamon Lynch, Golfweek, "Lynch: The USGA's distance report is out, and so begins the battle for golf's future," 4 Feb. 2020 The glow faded when the Iraq war sundered Mr Blair from the French and the Germans. The Economist, "Eurocrats know Boris Johnson well, making no-deal Brexit more likely," 15 Aug. 2019 The unprotected noticed, and began to sunder their relationship with establishments and elites. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Republicans Need to Save Capitalism," 14 Feb. 2019 These practices were sundered with the ascension of Donald J. Trump to the presidency. New York Times, "At Graduation, a Son in the Limelight and a Father in the Shadows," 3 July 2018 Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham are working on an alternative that would send a message to the Saudis without sundering the relationship. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Senate and the Saudis," 3 Dec. 2018 Unfortunately, the idyllic mood is sundered every so often with tinny canned music blared over loudspeakers attached to lampposts throughout. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "The Most Ambitious Park in Russia," 25 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sunder.' 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 sunder

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sunder

Middle English, from Old English gesundrian, syndrian; akin to Old High German suntarōn to sunder, Old English sundor apart, Latin sine without, Sanskrit sanutar away

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Time Traveler for sunder Time Traveler

The first known use of sunder was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sunder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of sunder

formal + literary : to split apart (an organization, two people, etc.) especially in a violent way

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