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Tear, vb. (impf. tore, partic. torn) 1) to draw by violence, to pull: “to t. his hair,” Lucr. 981. Ado II, 3, 153. John III, 4, 45. Troil. IV, 2, 113. Rom. III, 3, 68. Lr. III, 1, 7. “stab them, or t. them on thy chariot-wheels,” Tit. V, 2, 47. With adverbs: “that I'll t. away,” Gent. I, 2, 125. “do not t. away thyself from me,” Err. II, 2, 126. “the lioness had torn some flesh away,” As IV, 3, 148. “with their teeth the walls they'll t. down,” H6A I, 2, 40. “the bear tore out his shoulder-bone,” Wint. III, 3, 97. “--ing his country's bowels out,” Cor. V, 3, 102. With prepositions: “from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn,” Lucr. 1762. “will you t. impatient answers from my gentle tongue,” Mids. III, 2, 286. I tore them (hairs) “from their bonds,” John III, 4, 70. “from my own windows torn my household coat,” R2 III, 1, 24. I tore it (the paper) “from the traitor's bosom,” V, 3, 55. “I will t. the reckoning from his heart,” H4A III, 2, 152. “to t. the garter from thy craven's leg,” H6A IV, 1, 15. “they will by violence t. him from your palace,” H6B III, 2, 246. “t. the crown from the usurper's head,” H6C I, 1, 114. “honour torn from Hector,” Troil. IV, 5, 145. “torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,” Tit. III, 1, 84. “t. the stained skin of my harlot brow,” Err. II, 2, 138 (M. Edd. off my h. b.). “him will I t. out of that cruel eye,” Tw. V, 130. “t. the lions out of England's coat,” H6A I, 5, 28. “mandrakes torn out of the earth,” Rom. IV, 3, 47.
2) to pull in pieces, to rend: “--ing of papers,” Compl. 6. which she tore, 44; 51; Gent. I, 2, 105; IV, 4, 136; Ado II, 3, 146; LLL IV, 3, 57; 200, Merch. IV, 1, 234; Rom. II, 2, 57; Mcb. III, 2, 49; Lr. V, 3, 157. “when their thundering shock at meeting --s the cloudy cheeks of heaven,” R2 III, 3, 57; “to t. with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air,” Cor. V, 3, 151. “for --ing a poor whore's ruff,” H4B II, 4, 156. “my arms torn and defaced,” H6B IV, 1, 42. did so set his teeth and t. it (a butterfly) Cor. I, 3, 70. “though thy tackle's torn,” IV, 5, 67. “t. a passion to tatters,” Hml. III, 2, 11. “a part to t. a cat in,” Mids. I, 2, 32 (proverbial phrase, particularly applied to theatrical ranting). “France should have torn and rent my very heart,” H6B I, 1, 126. “a tempest, which his mortal vessel --s,” Per. IV, 4, 30. “t. me, take me,” Tim. III, 4, 100. “t. him for his bad verses,” Caes. III, 3, 34. “woo't t. thyself,” Hml. V, 1, 298. “to dislocate and t. thy flesh and bones,” Lr. IV, 2, 65. “I will t. thee joint by joint,” Rom. V, 3, 35. “to t. her limb-meal,” Cymb. II, 4, 147. “torn to pieces with a bear,” Wint. V, 2, 68. “to t. us all to pieces,” R2 II, 2, 139. H8 V, 4, 80. Cor. V, 6, 121. Caes. III, 3, 30. Oth. III, 3, 431. Hence == to lacerate, to laniate; to hurt or destroy in a savage manner: “enforced hate . . . shall rudely t. thee,” Lucr. 669. “she with her nails her flesh doth t.” Lucr. 669 “that with my nails her beauty I may t.” Lucr. 669 Lucr. 669 through his teeth, as if the name he tore, 1787; cf. “a --ing groan did break the name of Antony,” Ant. IV, 14, 31. “these hands shall t. her,” Ado IV, 1, 193. “torn with briers,” Mids. III, 2, 443. “--ing the Thracian singer in their rage,” V, 49. “my teeth shall t. the slavish motive of recanting fear,” R2 I, 1, 192. “I could t. her,” H4B II, 4, 167. “did he not straight in pious rage the two delinquents t.” Mcb. III, 6, 12. “as this mouth should t. this hand,” Lr. III, 4, 15.
With an accus. denoting the effect: “these nails may t. a passage through the flinty ribs,” R2 V, 5, 20.
3) to burst, to break: “they seemed almost, with staring on one another, to t. the cases of their eyes,” Wint. V, 2, 14. “patient fools, whose children he hath slain, their base throats t. with giving him glory,” Cor. V, 6, 53. “else would I t. the cave where Echo lies . . . with repetition of my Romeo's name,” Rom. II, 2, 162. cf. Ant. IV, 14, 31. == to break, in a moral sense: “new faith torn,” Sonn. 152, 3. “our faith not torn,” LLL IV, 3, 285.
A difficult passage (though not pointed out as such by most commentators): “though you think that all, as you have done, have torn their souls by turning them from us, and we are barren and bereft of friends,” R2 III, 3, 83 (it cannot mean the same as in H6B I, 1, 126. Perhaps == destroyed, doomed to perdition; with a licence accounted for by the consonance with turning).
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