- (archaic) In two, in halves, into two parts, asunder
- When the masked stranger hew with his axe, the baker's head did split in twain and his body fell like a lump to the ground in turn.
- 1697, trans. John Dryden, Virgil, Georgics, book IV, lines 202–205:
And when cold Winter ſplit the Rocks in twain,
And Ice the running Rivers did reſtrain,
He ſtripp’d the Bears-foot of its leafy Growth,
And calling weſtern Winds, accus’d the Spring of Sloth.
1913, Warren Wood, When Virginia was Rent in Twain:
- It was an anomalous situation. Precedents, there were none. No state ever before had been rent in twain.
- 2003, Bill Odenkirk (writer), Kif Kroker in “Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch”, Futurama, season 4, episode 1:
[…] shortly, it will rend my loins in twain, burst forth, and pull us down, down, down into the deep, dark waters of commitment.