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

  • transitive v. To rend or tear apart.
  • transitive v. To break into pieces, as by a blow; cleave or split asunder.
  • transitive v. To break or distress (the spirit, for example).
  • intransitive v. To be or become split.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To tear apart by force; to split; to cleave.
  • v. To pierce or cleave with a weapon.
  • v. To break apart; to split.
  • v. In woodworking, to use a technique of splitting or sawing wood radially from a log (e.g. clapboards).
  • n. A place torn; a rent; a rift.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place torn; a rent; a rift.
  • intransitive v. To be split or rent asunder.
  • transitive v. To rend asunder by force; to split; to cleave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To split; cleave; rend asunder by force: as, to rive timber for rails, etc., with wedges; the oak is riven.
  • To cause to pierce; thrust.
  • To pierce; stab.
  • To explode; discharge.
  • Synonyms See rend.
  • To be split or rent asunder; fall apart.
  • An obsolete or dialectal form of rife.
  • To land; arrive.
  • To go; travel.
  • n. A place torn; a rent; a tear.
  • n. That which is torn, as with the teeth.
  • n. A rake.
  • n. Bank; shore.

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

  • v. separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
  • v. tear or be torn violently


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

Middle English riven, from Old Norse rīfa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English riven ("to rive"), of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse rīfa ("to rend, tear apart"), from Proto-Germanic *rīfanan (“to tear, scratch”), from Proto-Indo-European *(e)reip- (“to crumble, tear”). Cognate with Danish rive ("to tear"), Old Frisian rīva ("to tear"), Old English ārǣfan ("to let loose, unwrap"), Old Norse ript (rift, "breach of contract"), Norwegian rive ("to tear") and Albanian rrip ("belt, rope"). More at rift.


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