mitreißen

Meanings

1.
to carry away, to sweep away
(In the literal sense of violently pulling someone or something along. Think of a flood that sweeps away a bunch of cars.)
2.
to thrill, to captivate, to engage
(Same idea as the first one, but now in a figurative sense of something being so engaging that it sweeps you with it. )
3.
to tear "along"
(Technically, the verb can also mean that something is tearing alng with something else. But it's hard to find an actual context for that. )

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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