The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Tear \Tear\ (t[^a]r), v. t. [imp. Tore (t[=o]r), ((Obs.
Tare) (t[^a]r); p. p. Torn (t[=o]rn); p. pr. & vb. n.
Tearing.] [OE. teren, AS. teran; akin to OS. farterian to
destroy, D. teren to consume, G. zerren to pull, to tear,
zehren to consume, Icel. t>ae/ra, Goth. gata['i]ran to
destroy, Lith. dirti to flay, Russ. drate to pull, to tear,
Gr. de`rein to flay, Skr. dar to burst. [root]63. Cf. Darn,
Epidermis, Tarre, Tirade.]
1. To separate by violence; to pull apart by force; to rend;
to lacerate; as, to tear cloth; to tear a garment; to tear
the skin or flesh.
Tear him to pieces; he's a conspirator. --Shak.
2. Hence, to divide by violent measures; to disrupt; to rend;
as, a party or government torn by factions.
3. To rend away; to force away; to remove by force; to
sunder; as, a child torn from its home.
The hand of fate
Hath torn thee from me. --Addison.
4. To pull with violence; as, to tear the hair.
5. To move violently; to agitate. "Once I loved torn ocean's
To tear a cat, to rant violently; to rave; -- especially
applied to theatrical ranting. [Obs.] --Shak.
To tear down, to demolish violently; to pull or pluck down.
To tear off, to pull off by violence; to strip.
To tear out, to pull or draw out by violence; as, to tear
out the eyes.
To tear up, to rip up; to remove from a fixed state by
violence; as, to tear up a floor; to tear up the
foundation of government or order.