tear off

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tear off

1. To pull or rip something off from a larger whole. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." He tore off a lump of bread and used it to wipe the gravy off the plate. It felt like it was going to tear my arm off! Would you mind tearing off a piece of paper from your notebook for me to use in class?
2. To remove something with great haste. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." He tore off his jeans when he realized a spider had crawled up the pant leg. I tore the cushions off the sofa to try and find my keys.
3. To leave or depart very quickly. The kids all tore off as soon as they heard the police car approaching. The motorcycle tore off down the street, skipping stop signs and traffic lights on the way.
See also: off, tear

tear something off (of) someone or something

 and tear something off
to peel or rip something off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Max tore the necklace off his victim and ran away with it. He tore off the necklace.
See also: off, tear

tear off (from someone or something)

to leave someone or something in a great hurry. I hate to tear off from you guys, but I'm late for dinner. It's time for me to go. I have to tear off.
See also: off, tear

tear off

1. Produce hurriedly and casually, as in He tore off a poem a day for an entire month.
2. Leave in a hurry, as in She tore off to the store because it was about to close. [c. 1900]
See also: off, tear

tear off

v.
1. To remove something by ripping or tearing: She reached for the gift and tore off the wrapping paper. He grasped the sales tag and tore it off.
2. To remove something quickly: I unbuttoned my jacket and tore it off. The feverish patient tore off the covers.
3. To leave or drive off rapidly: The painting crew tore off in their van.
4. To produce something hurriedly and casually: The new reporter tears off article after article.
See also: off, tear

tear off

in. to break away; to run away. Don’t tear off without having some of my pie.
See also: off, tear
References in classic literature ?
A small box, with a sealed paper torn off from it (the paper containing an inscription) was found open, and empty, on a table in the room.
One young girl was knocked down and run over, and the next moment they dashed up against our cab; both the wheels were torn off and the cab was thrown over.
Now he remembered Denisov with his changed expression, his submission, and the whole hospital, with arms and legs torn off and its dirt and disease.
In past days, what hundreds on hundreds of times they had torn off the cover which inclosed the newspaper, and looked at the same column with the same weary mingling of hope and despair
In the city of Tuguegarao, tin roofs of schools used as evacuation centres were torn off by the winds and emergency teams were unable to go out due to the heavy rains, said Mayor Jefferson Soriano.
The roof of the school doubledecker was torn off in the collision, showering pupils with glass.
So I threw it about a meter in front of me," he said, adding he blacked out and woke up in the hospital later to find his legs had been torn off in the blast.
EIGHTEEN commuters were injured yesterday when the entire roof of a double-decker bus was torn off after it hit a tree.
uk A MAN had his arm torn off by a conveyor belt in a horrific industrial accident yesterday.
1 : a long slender piece of something cut or torn off : splinter <I have a sliver of wood in my finger.
In the ensuing debacle, the doors to the art theater were physically torn off their hinges.
POLICE are investigating a road rage incident in Nuneaton during which a car had its rear bumper torn off and its windscreen smashed.
Doctors at UCLA Medical Center were unable to reattach her ear that had been torn off when she was attacked, said Lt.
Laser perforation allows the top of the Tear-n-Sip mouthpiece to be torn off to allow drinking directly from the pouch without a straw.