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tear

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verb tear pronunciation in British English /teə(r)/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theytear
he/she/ittears
present participletearing
past tensetore
past participletorn
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to pull something so that it separates into pieces or gets a hole in it, or to become damaged in this way
    It’s made of very thin material that tears easily.
    He’d torn his raincoat.
    tear a hole in something: I’ve torn a hole in my sweater!
    tear something to pieces/bits/shreds: Mary tore the letter to pieces without reading it.
    tear something in two: Reynolds tore the contract in two.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to accidentally damage cloth, paper etc with something sharp or by getting it stuck on something
      tear something on something: I must have torn my sleeve on that nail.
      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] to damage something such as a muscle by stretching it until it pulls apart
    I tore a muscle playing football.
  3. 3
    [intransitive] to move somewhere very quickly, especially in an excited or uncontrolled way
    tear into/off/past etc: Those kids are always tearing around here on their bicycles.
    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] to remove something by pulling it away from something else with force
    tear something out/off/away from etc: You’ll need to tear the old wallpaper off the walls.
    The storm had torn the old tree up by the roots.
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