Middle English renden "tear a hole in, slash from top to bottom, separate in parts with force or sudden violence," from Old English rendan, hrendan "to tear, cut down," from Proto-West Germanic *rendan (source also of Old Frisian renda "to cut, break," Middle Low German rende "anything broken," German Rinde "bark, crust"), which is probably related to the noun source of rind. In Middle English also torenden. Related: Rended; rent; rending.
"a torn place, a split or opening made by tearing," 1660s, from rend (v.). Rent (1530s), from the alternative form of the verb, or from past tense of the verb, was more usual as a noun, but it tended to be confused with the other noun rent.