Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb ρηγνυμι (rhegnumi) and its compressed form ρησσω (rhesso) mean to burst out (to have an outburst). This outburst is mostly defined by some kind of internal pressure building up until the wall of some kind of container is breached, resulting in the uncontrolled eruption of the contents. Subsequently this verb most often describes loss and ruin.
Our verb describes the bursting of wine sacks and subsequent eruption of wine (Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37). But it also describes how a demon can cause an outburst in someone ("whenever it grabs him, it drives him to burst out, and he foams and gnashes..."; tells Mark 9:18). Somewhat similarly, but applied from the outside, are the pigs to whom we don't throw our pearls lest they trample us and cause us to burst-and-spill (Matthew 7:6).
Quite tellingly, Paul quote's from the Septuagint's translation of Isaiah 54:1 uses this word and tells of an unmarried woman who "bursts out" into shouts of joy for not being in labor yet whose children are more than of she who has a husband (Galatians 4:27).
This useful verb occurs only 7 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it come the following derivations and compound words:
- Together with the preposition δια (dia), meaning through: the verb διαρρηγνυμι (diarregnumi) or διαρρησσω (diaresso), meaning to rend through or tear apart — namely of clothing as sign of an emotional outburst (Matthew 26:65, Mark 14:63, Acts 14:14) or nets that burst with catch (Luke 5:6), or the fetters that couldn't contain the demoniac called Legion (Luke 8:29). This verb is used just these 5 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the preposition περι (peri), meaning around or about: the verb περιρρηγνυμι (perirregnumi), meaning to tear off from all sides (namely clothes from someone about to be scourged — Acts 16:22 only).
- Together with the prefix προς (pros), which describes a motion toward: the verb προσρηγνυμι (prosregnumi), meaning to burst toward (namely of ruinous waves toward a house — Luke 6:48 and 6:49 only).
- The noun ρακος (rhakos) which denotes a strip of torn off cloth; a rag (Matthew 9:16 and Mark 2:21 only, and note the word play involving this noun's parent verb in Mark 2:21-22).
- The noun ρηγμα (rhegma), meaning a rending, breach or ruin (Luke 6:49 only).