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See also: sûnder, Sünder, and sunđer



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sunder, from Old English sundor- (separate, different), from Proto-Germanic *sundraz (isolated, particular, alone), from Proto-Indo-European *snter-, *seni-, *senu-, *san- (apart, without, for oneself). Cognate with Old Saxon sundar (particular, special), Dutch zonder (without), German sonder (special, set apart), Old Norse sundr (separate), Danish sønder (apart, asunder), Latin sine (without).


sunder (comparative more sunder, superlative most sunder)

  1. (dialectal or obsolete) Sundry; separate; different.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sundren (to separate, part, divide), from Old English sundrian (to separate, split, part, divide), from Proto-Germanic *sundrōną (to separate), from Proto-Indo-European *sen(e)- (separate, without). Cognate with Scots sinder, sunder (to separate, divide, split up), Dutch zonderen (to isolate), German sondern (to separate), Swedish söndra (to divide). More at sundry.


sunder (third-person singular simple present sunders, present participle sundering, simple past and past participle sundered)

  1. (transitive) To break or separate or to break apart, especially with force.
  2. (intransitive) To part, separate.
    • 1881 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Severed Selves, lines 8-9
      Two souls, the shores wave-mocked of sundering seas: —
      Such are we now.
    • 2003, Dean Barton, Searching for the Evergreen Man[1], Llumina Press, →ISBN, page 69:
      … Carlo finally saw Everything, before it sunders into things; he saw Knowledge before it sunders into knowing; he saw Integrity before it sunders in integrals; he saw Unity before it sunders into units.
  3. (Britain, dialect, dated, transitive) To expose to the sun and wind.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
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sunder (plural sunders)

  1. a separation into parts; a division or severance
    • 1939, Alfred Edward Housman, Additional Poems, VII, lines 2-4
      He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
      I shook his hand and tore my heart in sunder
      And went with half my life about my ways.
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Old English[edit]

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From Proto-Germanic *sundraz, whence also Old High German suntar, Old Norse sundr.




  1. apart, separate, private, aloof, by one's self
    Ne scealt ðú sunder beón from ðínum geférum on Ongelcyricean.Thou shouldst not be aloof from thy brethren in the English Church.


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