torture

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

Definition of torture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
2a : something that causes agony or pain
b : anguish of body or mind : agony
3 : distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : straining

torture

verb
tortured; torturing\ ˈtȯrch-​riŋ How to pronounce torture (audio) , ˈtȯr-​chə-​ \

Definition of torture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause intense suffering to : torment
2 : to punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain
3 : to twist or wrench out of shape : distort, warp

Other Words from torture

Verb

torturer \ ˈtȯr-​chər-​ər How to pronounce torture (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for torture

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for torture

Verb

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

Examples of torture in a Sentence

Noun Waiting is just torture for me. Listening to him can be torture. Verb The report revealed that prisoners had been repeatedly tortured. Don't torture yourself over the mistake.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Throughout the torture and the violence, there’s still this strange chemistry between the characters that’s fascinating. Brent Lang, Variety, 13 Jan. 2022 What about the torture and execution of protesting athletes? Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 13 Jan. 2022 Anwar Raslan, 58, was charged with crimes including 58 counts of murder, rape and torture in connection to his work as head of investigations at a branch of Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate during the country’s civil war. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 The charges included 27 counts of murder, as well as the torture and rape of prisoners at the al-Khatib detention center of the Syrian intelligence service between 2011 and 2012. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 The military has recently engaged in violent suppression of all dissent, disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings. Elaine Kurtenbach, ajc, 7 Jan. 2022 The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has since filed murder and torture charges against Barker, per Fox 11. Olivia Jakiel, PEOPLE.com, 29 Dec. 2021 Suspect caught: After about a month on the run, authorities have arrested Hakeem Ali-Shomo, wanted in connection to the early November torture and killing of Alishah Pointer in East Cleveland. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 13 Dec. 2021 Hedges says he was subjected to torture and months of solitary confinement. Arkansas Online, 26 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The family continues to demand that Maxwell be released on bail, arguing that the conditions of her detention are tantamount to torture and prevent her from assisting her defense attorneys. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2021 Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, soon converted the booth into what several people who dated and worked with him now describe as a solitary-confinement cell used to psychologically torture women. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2021 Willem Dafoe plays a military contractor who trains soldiers (including the title character) to torture captives at Abu Ghraib. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Dec. 2021 Ventura County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of murder, mayhem and torture in connection with his girlfriend’s death on Christmas Eve, authorities said. Priscella Vega Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2021 The family continues to demand that Maxwell be released on bail, arguing that the conditions of her detention are tantamount to torture and prevent her from assisting her defense attorneys. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2021 In some very deep and existential way, the Cincinnati Bengals exist to torture you. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 2 Nov. 2021 The family continues to demand that Maxwell be released on bail, arguing that the conditions of her detention are tantamount to torture and prevent her from assisting her defense attorneys. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2021 The family continues to demand that Maxwell be released on bail, arguing that the conditions of her detention are tantamount to torture and prevent her from assisting her defense attorneys. Danica Kirka, ajc, 26 Nov. 2021

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

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First Known Use of torture

Noun

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Verb

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for torture

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for torture

Time Traveler

The first known use of torture was in 1540

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Dictionary Entries Near torture

torturable

torture

torturedly

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Statistics for torture

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Torture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/torture. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for torture

torture

noun

English Language Learners Definition of torture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

torture

verb

English Language Learners Definition of torture (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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.

torture

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

Kids Definition of torture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of causing great pain especially to punish or to obtain a confession
2 : distress of body or mind Waiting is just torture for me.

torture

verb
tortured; torturing

Kids Definition of torture (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to punish or force someone to do or say something by causing great pain
2 : to cause great suffering to

Other Words from torture

torturer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on torture

Nglish: Translation of torture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of torture for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about torture

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