Definition of rend in English:

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Pronunciation: /rend/

verb (past and past participle rent /rent/)

[with object]
1Tear (something) into two or more pieces: snapping teeth that would rend human flesh to shreds figurative the speculation and confusion that was rending the civilized world
More example sentences
  • She had the scars to prove that they had learned the hard way how easily a dragon's claws could rend human flesh.
  • These missiles locked onto their targets and streaked unerringly through space, determined to rend metal and flesh.
  • Our flag is no piece of sheeting for authoritarians to hide behind as they rend our hard-won liberties in the name of ‘protecting’ us from a dangerous world.
tear/rip apart, tear/rip in two, split, rupture, sever
literary tear/rip asunder, sunder
rare dissever
1.1 archaic Wrench (something) violently: he rent the branch out of the tree
1.2 literary Cause great emotional pain to (a person or their heart).
Example sentences
  • But nothing prepared me for the aggregate loss, when each problem list and interesting case turns out to be your neighbor and friend, and every final parting rends you where the heart resides.
  • There are plenty of factual accounts in Bringing them Home which rend the heart.



rend the air

literary Sound piercingly: a shrill scream rent the air
More example sentences
  • The occasional scream of agony and the sound of the lash rent the air.
  • He was almost to the tree, when he heard a piercing scream rend the air.
  • A horrible yowling sound rent the air, a cacophony of dissonant notes in the cool morning stillness.

rend one's garments

Tear one’s clothes as a sign of extreme grief or distress.
Example sentences
  • There is a gasp; the high priest rends his garments and declares Jesus a blasphemer.
  • Even today, when we approach the remaining vestige of our ancient Temple, we rend our garments like those in mourning.


Old English rendan; related to Middle Low German rende.

Words that rhyme with rend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rend

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