1

torment

noun tor·ment \ ˈtȯr-ˌment \

Definition of torment

1 :extreme pain or anguish of body or mind :agony
2 :a source of vexation or pain
3 :the infliction of torture (as by rack or wheel)

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.

Recent Examples of torment from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of torment

Middle English, from Anglo-French turment, torment, from Latin tormentum torture; akin to torquēre to twist — more at 1torture


2

torment

verb tor·ment \ tȯr-ˈment , ˈtȯr-ˌ \

Definition of torment

transitive verb
1 :to cause severe usually persistent or recurrent distress of body or mind to
  • cattle tormented by flies

Examples of torment in a Sentence

  1. Not knowing where she was tormented him.

  2. he was tormented by nightmares about the accident

Recent Examples of torment from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 English Language Learners

torment

noun

Definition of torment for English Language Learners

  • : extreme physical or mental pain

  • : something that causes extreme physical or mental pain


torment

verb

Definition of torment for English Language Learners

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


TORMENT Defined for Kids

1

torment

verb tor·ment \ tȯr-ˈment \

Definition of torment for Students

tormented; tormenting
1 :to cause severe suffering of body or mind to
  • Flies tormented the cattle.
2 :vex 1, harass
  • All last year we tormented Webb. Mostly little stuff, like messing with his locker …
  • —Jerry Spinelli, Crash

2

torment

noun tor·ment \ ˈtȯr-ˌment \

Definition of torment for Students

1 :extreme pain or distress of body or mind
2 :a cause of suffering in mind or body The waiting was torment.


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