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

  • n. 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.
  • n. A similar payment made for the use of a facility, equipment, or service provided by another.
  • n. The return derived from cultivated or improved land after deduction of all production costs.
  • n. The revenue yielded by a piece of land in excess of that yielded by the poorest or least favorably located land under equal market conditions. Also called economic rent.
  • transitive v. To obtain occupancy or use of (another's property) in return for regular payments.
  • transitive v. To grant temporary occupancy or use of (one's own property or a service) in return for regular payments: rents out TV sets.
  • intransitive v. To be for rent: The cottage rents for $1,200 a month.
  • idiom for rent Available for use or service in return for payment.
  • v. A past tense and a past participle of rend.
  • n. An opening made by rending; a rip.
  • n. A breach of relations between persons or groups; a rift.
  • n. Slang A parent. Often used in the plural: had to stay home with the rents.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A payment made by a tenant at intervals in order to occupy a property.
  • n. A similar payment for the use of equipment or a service.
  • n. A profit from possession of a valuable right, as a restricted license to engage in a trade or business.
  • n. An object for which rent is charged or paid.
  • v. To occupy premises in exchange for rent.
  • v. To grant occupation in return for rent.
  • v. To obtain or have temporary possession of an object (e.g. a movie) in exchange for money.
  • v. To be leased or let for rent.
  • n. A tear or rip in some surface.
  • n. A division or schism between two things.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of rend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. & p. p. of rend.
  • n. An opening made by rending; a break or breach made by force; a tear.
  • n. Figuratively, a schism; a rupture of harmony; a separation.
  • n. Income; revenue. See catel.
  • n. Pay; reward; share; toll.
  • n. 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
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To rant.
  • intransitive v. To be leased, or let for rent.
  • transitive v. To tear. See rend.
  • transitive v. To grant the possession and enjoyment of, for a rent; to lease.
  • transitive v. To take and hold under an agreement to pay rent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete variant of rend.
  • 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 rant.
  • A Middle English contracted form of rendeth, 3d person singular present indicative of rend.
  • n. Preterit and past participle of rend.
  • n. An opening made by rending or tearing; a tear; a fissure; a break or breach; a crevice or crack.
  • n. A schism; a separation: as, a rent in the church.
  • n. Synonyms Tear, rupture, rift.
  • n. Income; revenue; receipts from any regular source.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The right to such compensation, particularly in respect of lands.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An endowment; revenue.
  • n. See def. 2 .
  • n. Rent paid in advance.

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

  • n. a payment or series of payments made by the lessee to an owner for use of some property, facility, equipment, or service
  • v. engage for service under a term of contract
  • n. the return derived from cultivated land in excess of that derived from the poorest land cultivated under similar conditions
  • v. hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services
  • n. an opening made forcibly as by pulling apart
  • n. the act of rending or ripping or splitting something
  • v. let for money
  • v. grant use or occupation of under a term of contract


Middle English rente, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *rendita, from feminine past participle of *rendere, to yield, return; see render.
Short for parent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French rente, from Vulgar Latin rendere ("to render"). (Wiktionary)
Middle English renten ("to tear"). Variant form of renden. (Wiktionary)



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  • 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

  • such a rent meaning a rapture or a tear

    September 15, 2011

  • “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