tear off after the vehicle


Senior Member

What does "tear off after the vehicle" mean in the following context?

The rest of the dogs are wise to the consequences of this and know to get on board when the wheels start turning. My uncle waits for no one, and certainly for no dog. Snippy, the ‘town hound’ doesn’t know this trick, so he only realizes he’s being left behind when the vehicle is already headed down the road, a plume of dust rising up in its wake. He tears off after the vehicle – as any other dog would do – his doggie companions barking encouragement to him.
(Quoted from Anthills, Elephants, and Other Fascinations by Rina Flanagan)

Thanks very much!
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Better to read the meaning of "tear" as a verb, not as a noun which is defined in part using the adjective "tearing" which comes from the verb :rolleyes:.

    One of several meanings from the Wordreference dictionary, which is, I think, a better place to start than Merriam-Webster
    Random House (AE) to move or behave with violent haste or great energy
    Collins (BE) to move or behave with force, violent haste, or energy:


    New Member

    ;) I argee; it seems that the inquirer has already grasped the meaning, though.

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