Synonyms & Antonyms of rip

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 to cause (something) to separate into jagged pieces by violently pulling at it
  • the dog ripped the sleeve of my shirt by grabbing it with his teeth

Synonyms for rip

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2 to penetrate with a sharp edge (as a knife)
  • you can see where someone ripped the painting with a penknife

Synonyms for rip

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4 to separate or remove by forceful pulling
  • rip a sheet off the pad of paper

Synonyms for rip

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noun (1)

Synonyms of rip (Entry 2 of 3)

a long deep cut
  • the hoe left rips in the lawn

Synonyms for rip

Words Related to rip


noun (2)

Synonyms & Antonyms of rip (Entry 3 of 3)

a person who has sunk below the normal moral standard
  • something of a rip in his youth, he eventually settled down

Synonyms for rip

Words Related to rip

Near Antonyms for rip

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About rip

How is the word rip different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of rip are cleave, rend, rive, split, and tear. While all these words mean "to separate forcibly," rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint.

ripped the shirt on a nail

When might cleave be a better fit than rip?

The synonyms cleave and rip are sometimes interchangeable, but cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow.

a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak

When can rend be used instead of rip?

While the synonyms rend and rip are close in meaning, rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering.

an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes

When could rive be used to replace rip?

Although the words rive and rip have much in common, rive occurs most often in figurative use.

a political party riven by conflict

In what contexts can split take the place of rip?

While in some cases nearly identical to rip, split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers.

split logs for firewood

Where would tear be a reasonable alternative to rip?

In some situations, the words tear and rip are roughly equivalent. However, tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges.

tear up the letter

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Time Traveler for rip

Time Traveler

The first known use of rip was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Rip.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rip

Nglish: Translation of rip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rip for Arabic Speakers


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