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noun tor·ture \ˈtȯr-chər\

Simple Definition of torture

  • : the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something

  • : something that causes mental or physical suffering : a very painful or unpleasant experience

Full Definition of torture

  1. 1a :  anguish of body or mind :  agonyb :  something that causes agony or pain

  2. 2 :  the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure

  3. 3 :  distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument :  straining

Examples of torture

  1. Waiting is just torture for me.

  2. Listening to him can be torture.

Origin of torture

Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle

First Known Use: 1540

Rhymes with torture



transitive verb tor·ture

Simple Definition of torture

  • : to cause (someone) to experience severe physical pain especially as a form of punishment or to force that person to do or say something

  • : to cause (someone) to feel very worried, unhappy, etc.

Full Definition of torture

tor·turedtor·tur·ing play \ˈtȯrch-riŋ, ˈtȯr-chə-\

  1. 1 :  to cause intense suffering to :  torment

  2. 2 :  to punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain

  3. 3 :  to twist or wrench out of shape :  distort, warp

tor·tur·er play \ˈtȯr-chər-ər\ noun

Examples of torture

  1. The report revealed that prisoners had been repeatedly tortured.

  2. Don't torture yourself over the mistake.


First Known Use of torture


Synonym Discussion of torture

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>.

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February 14, 2016

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