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tear·​away ˈter-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce tearaway (audio)
: a rebellious and unruly or reckless young person

tear away

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tore away; torn away; tearing away; tears away

transitive verb

: to remove (someone, such as oneself) reluctantly

Example Sentences

Noun a gang of teenage tearaways
Recent Examples on the Web
In the series, the novel tearaway pants concept for the strippers is the brainchild of designer and superfan Denise (Juliette Lewis). Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2022 Eve does the saddest, ugliest little tearaway of her otherwise gorgeous Matrix drag look, but Suki takes way too long to take off her own coat and get on the floor and give choreo. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 6 Nov. 2021 The reveals in this particular lip sync are a wash — neither tearaway adds or subtracts from either queen’s overall performance. Paul Mccallion, Vulture, 23 Apr. 2021 The tearaway snap front top has ‘CAVS’ logo sewn on left breast. Marc Bona, cleveland, 29 Nov. 2020 The royal family’s relatively limited personal wealth, meanwhile, means that there is little scope for playboy princes or tearaway princesses. The Economist, 17 Oct. 2019 For example, though the tabbed interface seemed to work, the tearaway windows didn’t seem to be quite functional yet. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 22 June 2019 People taped posters to telephone poles with tearaway numbers, and left messages on answering machines! Jason Gay, WSJ, 8 June 2018 Swapping out her striped Kappa tracksuit in lieu of Alexander Wang’s sleek twist on Adidas's classic tearaway trousers, with Burberry’s nova check scarf and an Hermès Birkin bag, Ora’s ensemble was a fresh approach to first-class comfort. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, 19 Dec. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tearaway.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1950, in the meaning defined above


circa 1699, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tearaway was circa 1699

Dictionary Entries Near tearaway

tear away


tear bag

Cite this Entry

“Tearaway.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tearaway. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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