1a crack, split, or break in something:the wind had torn open a rift in the clouds Geology a major fault separating blocks of the earth’s surface; a rift valley.
2a serious break in friendly relations:the rift between the two branches of the legal profession
form fissures or breaks, especially through large-scale faulting; move apart:a fragment of continental crust which rifted away from eastern Australia [with object]
(usually as adjective rifted
) tear or force (something) apart:the nascent rifted margins of the Red Sea