"payment for use of property," mid-12c., a legal sense, originally "income, revenue" (late Old English), from Old French rente "payment due; profit, income," from Vulgar Latin *rendita, noun use of fem. past participle of *rendere "to render" (see render (v.)).
"torn place," 1530s, noun use of Middle English renten "to tear, rend" (early 14c.), variant of renden (see rend (v.)).
mid-15c., "to rent out property, grant possession and enjoyment of in exchange for a consideration paid," from Old French renter "pay dues to," or from rent (n.1). Related: Rented; renting. Earlier (mid-14c.) in the more general sense of "provide with revenue." Sense of "to take and hold in exchange for rent" is from 1520s. Intransitive sense of "be leased for rent" is from 1784. Prefix rent-a- first attested 1921, mainly of businesses that rented various makes of car (Rentacar is a trademark registered in U.S. 1924); extended to other "temporary" uses since 1961.
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