Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Into separate parts or pieces.
  • adverb Apart from each other either in position or in direction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In or into a position apart; apart or separate, either in position or in direction: said of two or more things: as, wide as the poles asunder.
  • In or into a divided state; into separate parts; in pieces: as, to tear, rend, break, burst, or cut asunder.
  • Separately; apart.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Apart; separate from each other; into parts; in two; separately; into or in different pieces or places.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb Into separate parts or pieces; apart.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective widely separated especially in space
  • adverb into parts or pieces

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English on sundran : on, on; see on + sundran, separately (from sunder, apart).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally two words; from Old English on ("a (preposition)") sundran ("separate position"). Cognate with Danish sønder, Swedish sönder, Dutch zonder, Icelandic sundur and Norwegian sunder/sønder, from Old Norse í sundr, akin to Gothic 𐍃𐌿𐌽𐌳𐍂𐍉 (sundro).

Examples

  • Where was solid water beneath it, is now air, and for the first time it feels the grip of gravity, and down it falls, at the same time being torn asunder from the lagging bottom of the wave and flung forward.

    Excerpt From Cruise of the Snark: Surfing in Hawaii

  • Being there helped me realise that I was kinda rent asunder from the happy nest I had there.

    Pisces Moon.

  • Being there helped me realise that I was kinda rent asunder from the happy nest I had there.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • Where was solid water beneath it, is now air, and for the first time it feels the grip of gravity, and down it falls, at the same time being torn asunder from the lagging bottom of the wave and flung forward.

    Chapter 6

  • Where was solid water beneath it, is now air, and for the first time it feels the grip of gravity, and down it falls, at the same time being torn asunder from the lagging bottom of the wave and flung forward.

    Chapter 6

  • Where was solid water beneath it is now air, and for the first time it feels the grip of gravity, and down it falls, at the same time being torn asunder from the lagging bottom of the wave and being flung forward.

    Riding the South Sea Surf

  • It is the destruction of the Al Qaeda network and terrorist organizations with global reach, and, in the case of Afghanistan, the taking asunder -- that, sir, maybe that, asunder, that is not quite as good as eviscerate -- but it has to do with taking down this illegitimate government of the Taliban that provides harbor to Al Qaeda.

    CNN Transcript Nov 8, 2001

  • Full many a shield and helmet/was there 'neath sword asunder rent.

    The Nibelungenlied Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original

  • Many of the white people in those provinces take little or no care of negro marriages; and when negroes marry after their own way, some make so little account of those marriages that with views of outward interest they often part men from their wives by selling them far asunder, which is common when estates are sold by executors at vendue.

    IV. 1757, 1758

  • For we must clearly see that a division in the Church on this old controverted subject would be like sawing a living man asunder; for it would be tearing the living body of Christ asunder, that is, if the

    Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America. Chiefly Drawn from the Diary, Letters, Manuscripts, Documents, and Original Tracts of the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper.

Comments

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  • For B5, a series with a number of poetic episode titles, "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" is one of the best.

    October 21, 2007

  • usually used with word torn

    torn asunder

    January 26, 2011