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v. rent (rĕnt) also rend·ed, rend·ing, rends
a. To tear or split apart or into pieces violently. See Synonyms at tear1.
b. To tear (one's garments or hair) in anguish or rage.
2. To pull away forcibly; wrest: rent the money from his hand.
a. To pull, split, or divide: "Chip was rent between the impulse to laugh wildly and a bitterness that threatened hot tears" (Louis Auchincloss).
b. To pierce or disturb with sound: a scream rent the silence.
c. To cause pain or distress to: tales that rend the heart.
To become torn or split; come apart: a hole where the seam rends.

[Middle English renden, from Old English rendan.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.rending - resembling a sound of violent tearing as of something ripped apart or lightning splitting a tree; "the tree split with a great ripping sound"; "heard a rending roar as the crowd surged forward"
cacophonic, cacophonous - having an unpleasant sound; "as cacophonous as a henyard"- John McCarten
References in classic literature ?
Though thousands of miles from Oregon, still when he smells that savage musk, the rending, goring bison herds are as present as to the deserted wild foal of the prairies, which this instant they may be trampling into dust.
Reed, to you I owe some fearful pangs of mental suffering, but I ought to forgive you, for you knew not what you did: while rending my heart-strings, you thought you were only uprooting my bad propensities.
The Rabbi listened with interest, and testified his sympathy after the fashion of his people, rending his clothes, and saying, ``Ah, my daughter
Wringing his hands and rending his beard, he exclaimed:
say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault
The two rolled growling upon the moss, tearing and rending one another in a frightful manner, but it was soon over and my preserver stood with lowered head above the throat of the dead thing which would have killed me.