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Meanings

1.
to (slightly) tear
(That's the literal meaning. The main use of it is for muscles and tendons that are not completely torn, but there's a tear there. Besides this context, it's not common in this sense.)
Value:
No examples in database yet.
But you can make some here with ChatGPT.
2.
to touch on a topic
("ein Thema anreißen" - pretty much ONLY used in contexts of conversations or presentations. If you're alone by yourself and you decide to look into something, that is NOT "anreißen".)
Value:
No examples in database yet.
But you can make some here with ChatGPT.

Word Family

Root: *uer-

This root is only mentioned in German etymological sources, but not in the English ones I am using.

The core idea of it was:

rip open, carving

According to German etymological sources, it is probably the origin of to write, but at least Etymonline states that the origin of write is uncertain.
It would make sense though, if you think of writing as carving something into wood or stone.

In German, reißen (to rip) and ritzen (to make small scratches) are fairly close to the original sense. The branch around Reiz (stimulus) is a bit more figurative, but still makes sense if you think of scratching your skin as one of the basic stimuli you can feel.

 

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