Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

torment

play
noun tor·ment \ˈtȯr-ˌment\

Simple Definition of torment

  • : extreme physical or mental pain

  • : something that causes extreme physical or mental pain

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of torment

  1. 1 :  the infliction of torture (as by rack or wheel)

  2. 2 :  extreme pain or anguish of body or mind :  agony

  3. 3 :  a source of vexation or pain

Examples of torment in a sentence

  1. No one could understand his inner torment.

  2. After years of torment, she left her husband.

  3. The mosquitoes were a constant torment.



Origin of torment

Middle English, from Anglo-French turment, torment, from Latin tormentum torture; akin to torquēre to twist — more at torture


First Known Use: 14th century


2

torment

play
transitive verb tor·ment \tȯr-ˈment, ˈtȯr-ˌ\

Simple Definition of torment

  • : to cause (someone or something) to feel extreme physical or mental pain

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of torment

  1. 1 :  to cause severe usually persistent or recurrent distress of body or mind to <cattle tormented by flies>

  2. 2 :  distort, twist

Examples of torment in a sentence

  1. Not knowing where she was tormented him.

  2. <he was tormented by nightmares about the accident>



14th Century

First Known Use of torment

14th century

Synonym Discussion of torment

afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear. afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress <ills that afflict the elderly>. try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control <children often try their parents' patience>. torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance <a horse tormented by flies>. torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering <tortured by a sense of guilt>. rack stresses straining or wrenching <a body racked by pain>.

TORMENT Defined for Kids

1

torment

play
verb tor·ment \tȯr-ˈment\

Definition of torment for Students

tormentedtormenting

  1. 1 :  to cause severe suffering of body or mind to <Flies tormented the cattle.>

  2. 2 :  vex 1, harass <All last year we tormented Webb. Mostly little stuff, like messing with his locker … — Jerry Spinelli, Crash>




2

torment

play
noun tor·ment \ˈtȯr-ˌment\

Definition of torment for Students

  1. 1 :  extreme pain or distress of body or mind

  2. 2 :  a cause of suffering in mind or body <The waiting was torment.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up torment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce disapprove perplex soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ