Definition of rend in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɛnd/

verb (past and past participle rent /rɛnt/)

[with object]
1Tear (something) into pieces: snapping teeth that would rend human flesh to shreds figurative the speculation and confusion which 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, tear/rip to pieces, split, rupture, sever, separate
literary cleave, tear/rip asunder, sunder, rive
rare dissever
1.1 [with object and adverbial of direction] archaic Wrench (something) violently: he rent the branch out of the tree
1.2 literary Cause great emotional pain to: you tell me this in order to make me able to betray you without rending my heart
More 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 (or hair)

Tear one’s clothes (or pull one’s hair out) as a sign of extreme grief or distress: the women began to wail and rend their garments
More 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

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