tor·​tur·​ous | \ ˈtȯrch-rəs How to pronounce torturous (audio) , ˈtȯr-chə-\

Definition of torturous

1a : very unpleasant or painful a torturous day torturous self-doubts
b : causing torture torturous inquisitions
2 : painfully difficult or slow the torturous course of the negotiations

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from torturous

torturously adverb

Examples of torturous in a Sentence

relatives had to make the torturous decision to disconnect the patient's life-support system the post-infection treatment for rabies was as notoriously torturous as the disease itself

Recent Examples on the Web

Much of the legislation is dedicated to subsidizing animal agriculture, a system under which billions of animals live and die in torturous conditions every year. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Dog and cat meat is now, finally, illegal," 18 Dec. 2018 Activists condemn the fur industry as inhumane, contending that the animals are subject to brutal conditions and meet torturous deaths. Fox News, "Los Angeles takes step to become largest U.S. city to ban fur," 18 Sep. 2018 Trying to drink more water every day can seem at best boring and repetitive and at worst well, a little torturous. Sally Tamarkin, SELF, "22 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Day," 3 Jan. 2019 Getty Images Listening to another person’s vacation stories is notoriously torturous. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why we hate hearing about other people’s vacations," 18 Oct. 2018 But the torturous aspects are easy to forget against the backdrop of Palace Merano’s beautiful setting in the hills of northern Italy. Irena Medavoy, Town & Country, "How to Detox Like a Hollywood Power Player," 5 Nov. 2018 Perhaps the only thing more torturous than trekking 600 miles to the South Pole, through some of the most inhospitable conditions nature has to offer, is watching your son do the same. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Father and son risk their lives crossing Antarctica to save the planet," 14 June 2018 That’s one of the most torturous aspects of being a woman. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Do Women Have to Do to Be Believed?," 20 Sep. 2018 Be prepared for months of anxious preparation and weeks of a torturous waiting game. Fresh U, Teen Vogue, "9 Stages of Applying to College as a High School Senior," 11 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of torturous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about torturous

Dictionary Entries near torturous








Statistics for torturous

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for torturous

The first known use of torturous was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for torturous



English Language Learners Definition of torturous

: causing great pain or suffering

More from Merriam-Webster on torturous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for torturous

Nglish: Translation of torturous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on torturous

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


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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