AskDefine | Define tearing

Dictionary Definition

tearing adj : marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid; "fierce loyalty"; "in a tearing rage"; "vehement dislike"; "violent passions" [syn: fierce, vehement, violent, trigger-happy] n : shedding tears [syn: lacrimation, lachrymation, watering]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. present participle of tear


  1. very hasty
    a tearing hurry


  1. a laceration
  2. continuous shedding of tears; epiphora

Extensive Definition

Screen tearing is a phenomenon in video where a previously rendered frame overlaps a newly rendered frame, creating a torn look as two parts of an object (such as a wall) don't line up. This occurs when the output device sends frames faster than the display's refresh rate. Screen tearing can occur on all display types but is most common with video games, as heavy processing can limit synchronization capabilities. It is less common with other mediums such as DVD players and TVs since the frames are not dynamically generated as they are with computers, but are preset. The frame rate given to the display device is therefore more constant and reliable.


Screen tearing can be prevented by altering both the device outputting the video and also the device displaying it.


Vertical synchronization is an option often found on computers. The use of V-sync can prevent screen tearing by only allowing a new frame to be sent after the previous frame has been displayed (i.e. during the vertical blanking interval). This prevents any frames from overlapping which is how screen tearing occurs.
tearing in German: Tearing
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