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

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 The minds of many viewers will immediately drift away from the fictional narrative and toward the actual events of recent weeks, along the same boundary, where children have been sundered from their immigrant parents and housed in detention centers. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Borderland Brutality of “Sicario 2: Soldado”," 9 July 2017 About one-fifth of the core structural columns in each tower were sundered by the planes. New York Times, "The Last 9/11 Fire Chief Bows Out," 10 July 2018 Alanoud Aljalahma, a 22-year-old premedical student, recounts how the rift between the Gulf’s royal clans threatened to sunder her own family. The Economist, "Cold war in the heatWhy Gulf countries are feuding with Qatar," 21 June 2018 No matter what happens in the legal fight, the relationship between Ms. Redstone and Mr. Moonves—until recently characterized by friendly lunches and public statements of support—has likely been irrevocably sundered. Joe Flint, WSJ, "Once Allies, Two Media Chiefs Go to War Over the Future of CBS," 28 May 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

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

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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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Comments on sunder

What made you want to look up sunder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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