tear

tear vb Tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive can all mean to separate forcibly one part of a continuous material or substance from another, or one object from another with which it is closely and firmly associated.
Tear implies pulling apart or away by or as if by main force; it often suggests jagged rough edges or laceration
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tore his coat on a nail

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tear a piece of paper lengthwise

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he took hold of it with his powerful hands and tore it out by the roots— Anderson

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flood tore a . . . gorge through the township— Amer. Guide Series: Vt.

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grief tears her heart

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Rip usually implies a forcible pulling or breaking apart typically along a line or juncture (as a seam, a joint, or a connection)
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Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripped—Shak.

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rip the shingles from a roof

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Rend implies greater violence than tear and either heightens the implication of a lacerating effect or adds that of severing or sundering
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rend your heart, and not your garments— Joel 2:13

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the black volume of clouds . . . rent asunder by flashes of lightning— Irving

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his pride and vanity had been rent by her ultimate rejection— H. G. Wells

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Split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers
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split a log with a wedge

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great rocks split by an earthquake

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In extended use the term implies force or intensity sufficient to split something
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split their sides with laughter

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pain that seemed about to split his head

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let sorrow split my heart, if ever I did hate thee— Shak.

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ear-splitting outcries

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Cleave, a somewhat rhetorical word, may come close to split, but more often it conveys the notion of laying open by or as if by a stroke of an edged weapon
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struck the final blow, cleaving the Archbishop's skull— Lucas

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his acumen clove clean to the heart of a piece of writing— Mandelbaum

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Rive is elevated for split
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blunt wedges rive hard knots— Shak.

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all thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain— Housman

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Analogous words: slit, slash, *cut: *pull, drag: damage, *injure, impair
2 *rush, dash, shoot, charge
Analogous words: *speed, hasten, hurry: dart, *fly, scud

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tear — (t[^a]r), v. t. [imp. {Tore} (t[=o]r), ((Obs. {Tare}) (t[^a]r); p. p. {Torn} (t[=o]rn); p. pr. & vb. n. {Tearing}.] [OE. teren, AS. teran; akin to OS. farterian to destroy, D. teren to consume, G. zerren to pull, to tear, zehren to consume, Icel …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tear — tear1 [ter] vt. tore, torn, tearing [ME teren < OE teran, to rend, akin to Ger zehren, to destroy, consume < IE base * der , to skin, split > DRAB1, DERMA1] 1. to pull apart or separate into pieces by force; rip or rend (cloth, paper,… …   English World dictionary

  • tear — tear; tear·able; tear·age; tear·er; tear·ful; tear·i·ly; tear·less; tear·able·ness; tear·ful·ly; tear·ful·ness; tear·less·ly; tear·less·ness; …   English syllables

  • tear — Ⅰ. tear [1] ► VERB (past tore; past part. torn) 1) rip a hole or split in. 2) (usu. tear up) pull or rip apart or to pieces. 3) damage (a muscle or ligament) by overstretching it. 4) (usu …   English terms dictionary

  • Tear — (t[=e]r), n. [AS. te[ a]r; akin to G. z[ a]rhe, OHG. zahar, OFries. & Icel. t[=a]r, Sw. t[*a]r, Dan. taare, Goth. tagr, OIr. d[=e]r, W. dagr, OW. dacr, L. lacrima, lacruma, for older dacruma, Gr. da kry, da kryon, da kryma. [root]59. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tear — may refer to:*Tears, eye secretion *Tearing, breaking apart fibers by force *Robert Tear (born 1939), Welsh singerElements in fiction: *Tear, character Tear Grants in video game Tales of the Abyss *Tear (Wheel of Time), nation in series of… …   Wikipedia

  • tear — [n1] rip, cut breach, break, crack, damage, fissure, gash, hole, imperfection, laceration, mutilation, rent, run, rupture, scratch, split, tatter; concept 513 Ant. perfection tear / tears [n2] droplets from eyes, often caused by emotion… …   New thesaurus

  • Tear It Up — Исполнитель Queen Альбом The Works Дата выпуска 27 февраля 1984 Дата записи …   Википедия

  • Tear — Tear, n. The act of tearing, or the state of being torn; a rent; a fissure. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] {Wear and tear}. See under {Wear}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tear|y — «TIHR ee», adjective, tear|i|er, tear|i|est. 1. = tearful. (Cf. ↑tearful) 2. = salty. (Cf. ↑salty) …   Useful english dictionary

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