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

  • noun Payment, usually of an amount fixed by contract, made by a tenant at specified intervals in return for the right to occupy or use the property of another.
  • noun A similar payment made for the use of a facility, equipment, or service provided by another.
  • noun The return derived from cultivated or improved land after deduction of all production costs.
  • noun The difference between the price paid for use of a resource whose supply is inelastic and the minimum price at which that resource would still be provided.
  • intransitive verb To obtain occupancy or use of (another's property) in return for regular payments.
  • intransitive verb To grant temporary occupancy or use of (one's own property or a service) in return for regular payments.
  • intransitive verb To be for rent.
  • idiom (for rent) Available for use or service in return for payment.
  • noun An opening made by rending; a rip.
  • noun A breach of relations between persons or groups; a rift.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To endow; secure an income to.
  • To grant the possession and enjoyment of for a consideration in the nature of rent; let on lease.
  • To take and hold for a consideration in the nature of rent: as, the tenant rents his farm for a year.
  • To hire; obtain the use or benefit of for a consideration, without lease or other formality, but for a more or less extended time: as, to rent a row-boat; to rent a piano.
  • To be leased or let for rent: as, an estate rents for five thousand dollars a year.
  • An obsolete variant of rend.
  • noun Preterit and past participle of rend.
  • noun Income; revenue; receipts from any regular source.
  • noun In law: A compensation or return made periodically, or fixed with reference to a period of time, for the possession and use of property of any kind.
  • noun Technically, a definite compensation or return reserved by a lease, to be made periodically, or fixed with reference to a period of tenure, and payable in money, produce, or other chattels or labor, for the possession and use of land or buildings.
  • noun The right to such compensation, particularly in respect of lands.
  • noun In political economics, that part of the produce of the soil which is left after deducting what is necessary to the support of the producers (including the wages of the laborers), the interest on the necessary capital, and a supply of seed for the next year; that part of the produce of a given piece of cultivated land which it yields over and above that yielded by the poorest land in cultivation under equal circumstances in respect to transportation, etc.
  • noun An endowment; revenue.
  • noun See def. 2 .
  • noun Rent paid in advance.
  • noun An opening made by rending or tearing; a tear; a fissure; a break or breach; a crevice or crack.
  • noun A schism; a separation: as, a rent in the church.
  • noun Synonyms Tear, rupture, rift.
  • An obsolete variant of rant.
  • A Middle English contracted form of rendeth, 3d person singular present indicative of rend.

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

  • intransitive verb To be leased, or let for rent.
  • noun An opening made by rending; a break or breach made by force; a tear.
  • noun Figuratively, a schism; a rupture of harmony; a separation.
  • intransitive verb R. & Obs. To rant.
  • transitive verb obsolete To tear. See rend.
  • noun obsolete Income; revenue. See catel.
  • noun obsolete Pay; reward; share; toll.
  • noun (Law) A certain periodical profit, whether in money, provisions, chattels, or labor, issuing out of lands and tenements in payment for the use; commonly, a certain pecuniary sum agreed upon between a tenant and his landlord, paid at fixed intervals by the lessee to the lessor, for the use of land or its appendages
  • noun That portion of the produce of the earth paid to the landlord for the use of the “original and indestructible powers of the soil;” the excess of the return from a given piece of cultivated land over that from land of equal area at the “margin of cultivation.” Called also economic rent, or Ricardian rent. Economic rent is due partly to differences of productivity, but chiefly to advantages of location; it is equivalent to ordinary or commercial rent less interest on improvements, and nearly equivalent to ground rent.
  • noun Loosely, a return or profit from a differential advantage for production, as in case of income or earnings due to rare natural gifts creating a natural monopoly.
  • noun See Blackmail, 3.
  • noun rent which is paid in advance; foregift.
  • noun (Law) a rent reserved on a conveyance of land in fee simple, or granted out of lands by deed; -- so called because, by a covenant or clause in the deed of conveyance, the land is charged with a distress for the payment of it.
  • noun a list or account of rents or income; a rental.
  • noun (Law) a rent reserved by deed, but without any clause of distress; barren rent. A power of distress was made incident to rent seck by Statute 4 George II. c. 28.
  • noun (Eng. Law) rent reserved out of land held by fealty or other corporeal service; -- so called from such service being incident to it.


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

[Middle English rente, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *rendita, from feminine past participle of *rendere, to yield, return; see render.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French rente, from Vulgar Latin rendere ("to render").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English renten ("to tear"). Variant form of renden.


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  • “There was only the azure of her seas, glimpsed through the rents in her surging clouds, and occasionally a flash of land, brown or green.”

    —Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun

    October 1, 2008

  • such a rent meaning a rapture or a tear

    September 15, 2011

  • I think you mean "a rupture or a tear". While a feeling of rapture (euphoria, ecstasy) may bring tears to one's eyes, a rupture (division, break, split) may be caused by a tear.

    September 15, 2011