self-torture

noun
self-tor·​ture | \ ˌself-ˈtȯr-chər How to pronounce self-torture (audio) \
plural self-tortures

Definition of self-torture

1 : the act or an instance of torturing oneself psychologically Guilt is a merciless instrument of self-torture.— S. G. Browne Because golf exposes the flaws of the human swing—a basically simple maneuver—it causes more self-torture than any game short of Russian roulette.— Grantland Rice
2 : the infliction of intense pain on oneself The Native North Americans also used physical suffering, a literal self-torture—for example, piercing the chest with sticks and thongs …— Leslie Gray

First Known Use of self-torture

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about self-torture

Time Traveler for self-torture

Time Traveler

The first known use of self-torture was in 1623

See more words from the same year

Statistics for self-torture

Cite this Entry

“Self-torture.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-torture. Accessed 21 January 2020.

Comments on self-torture

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

WORD OF THE DAY

good-natured easy friendliness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!