tear·​away | \ ˈter-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce tearaway (audio) \

Definition of tearaway

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a rebellious and unruly or reckless young person

tear away

tore away; torn away; tearing away; tears away

Definition of tear away (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to remove (someone, such as oneself) reluctantly

Examples of tearaway in a Sentence

Noun a gang of teenage tearaways
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The royal family’s relatively limited personal wealth, meanwhile, means that there is little scope for playboy princes or tearaway princesses. The Economist, "Japan’s emperor is a prisoner in his own palaces," 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, "Microsoft's new Windows Terminal app is now live in preview," 22 June 2019 People taped posters to telephone poles with tearaway numbers, and left messages on answering machines! Jason Gay, WSJ, "Champion Caps Shake Washington, D.C.," 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, "Rita Ora Layers It On for Holiday Travel Like a Fashion Pro," 19 Dec. 2017 In this nontackle version of the sport, players wear belts with two tearaway Velcro flags instead of helmets and pads. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Drew Brees Has a Plan to Save Football," 17 Oct. 2017 On Tuesday, the Tsar Maiden was Anastasia Matvienko, playing the role with a screwball combination of beauty and tearaway impulsiveness. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: Magic and Firebirds Show the Light Side of Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet," 1 Feb. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of tearaway


1950, in the meaning defined above


circa 1699, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of tearaway was circa 1699

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Cite this Entry

“Tearaway.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tearaway. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for tearaway


How to pronounce tear away (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tearaway

British, informal : a young person who behaves badly and who does dangerous, foolish, or illegal things

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