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1Split or tear apart violently:‘the party was riven by disagreements over Europe’figurative ‘he was riven with guilt’
torn apart, split, rent, ripped apart, ruptured, severedcleft, torn asunder, ripped asunderdisseveredView synonyms
- ‘Although Disney's company was riven with conflicts after his death, the firm emerged in the mid-1980s as the prototype of a successful international media conglomerate.’
- ‘Despite his position on the progressive wing, he emerged as leader of a party riven with internal divisions in 1976.’
- ‘Since the middle of the 19th century, the world of ‘classical music’ has been a world riven with political factions and contentious publicity.’
- ‘The negotiating process usually starts during the summer and leaves the cabinet riven with dispute as ministers fight it out with Minister for Finance for resources.’
- ‘His work forms a single entity that is full of life, intelligent and open-minded, yet riven with doubt, idiosyncrasy, and contradiction.’
- 1.1archaic Split or crack (wood or stone):‘the wood was riven with deep cracks’
- 1.2archaic [no object] (of wood or stone) split or crack:‘I started to chop furiously, the dry wood riving and splintering under the axe’
Middle English: from Old Norse rífa, of unknown ultimate origin.
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