Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seize and carry off forcibly.
  • transitive v. To deprive (one) of something; bereave.
  • intransitive v. To rob, plunder, or pillage.
  • transitive v. Archaic To break or tear apart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To plunder, pillage, rob, pirate, or remove.
  • v. To split, tear, break apart.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To take away by violence or by stealth; to snatch away; to rob; to despoil; to bereave. [Archaic].

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take away by force or stealth; carry off as booty; take violently; purloin, especially in a foray: with a thing as object.
  • To take away; remove; abstract; draw off.
  • To rob; plunder; dispossess; bereave: with a person as object.
  • To tear up, as the rafters or roof of a house.
  • To ravel; pull to pieces, as a textile fabric.
  • To practise plundering or pillaging; carry off stolen property.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. steal goods; take as spoils

Etymologies

Middle English reven, to plunder, from Old English rēafian; see reup- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English reven, possibly alteration (influenced by reven, to plunder) of Old Norse rīfa, to rive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English reven, from Old English rēafian, from Proto-Germanic *raubōnan (compare West Frisian rave, German rauben, Danish røve), from *raubō (compare Old English rēaf 'spoils, booty'), from *reufanan 'to tear' (compare Old English past participle rofen 'torn, broken', Norwegian rjuva), from Proto-Indo-European *Hréup-e/o- (compare Latin rumpere ("to break"), Lithuanian rùpti 'to roughen', Sanskrit ropayati 'to make suffer'). See rob. (Wiktionary)
Alteration of rive by confusion with the above. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • One day I saw an old frayed but strong rope on this path, cast away on a tree stump, and I thought: yes, that is the awful end of such thoughts. Had I actually been tempted to kill myself? Aghast at the thought I took the rope back and reaved it up for use.

    - Malcolm Lowry, The Forest Path to the Spring

    July 13, 2008