in twain

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From Middle English in tweyn, in twen, in tweyne (also as on tweyne). Compare Old English on twēġen (in two).

Prepositional phrase[edit]

in twain

  1. (archaic) In two, in halves, into two parts, asunder
    When the masked stranger hew with his axe, the baker's head did split in twain and his body fell like a lump to the ground in turn.
    • 1697, trans. John Dryden, Virgil, Georgics, book IV, lines 202–205:
      And when cold Winter ſplit the Rocks in twain,
      And Ice the running Rivers did reſtrain,
      He ſtripp’d the Bears-foot of its leafy Growth,
      And calling weſtern Winds, accus’d the Spring of Sloth.
    • 1913, Warren Wood, When Virginia was Rent in Twain:
      It was an anomalous situation. Precedents, there were none. No state ever before had been rent in twain.
    • 2003, Bill Odenkirk (writer), Kif Kroker in “Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch”, Futurama, season 4, episode 1:
      [] shortly, it will rend my loins in twain, burst forth, and pull us down, down, down into the deep, dark waters of commitment.



  • in twain at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • twain at OneLook Dictionary Search