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strappado

[struh-pey-doh, -pah-]
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noun, plural strap·pa·does.
  1. an old form of punishment or torture in which the victim, with arms bound behind, was raised from the ground by a rope fastened to the wrists, abruptly released, then arrested with a painful jerk just before reaching the ground.
  2. the instrument used for this purpose.

Origin of strappado

1550–60; alteration of Middle French strapade or its source, Italian strappata a sharp pull or tug, equivalent to strapp- (stem of strappare to snatch (< Gothic strappan to stretch) + -ata -ade1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for strappado

Historical Examples

  • No; were I at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion.

    The Universal Reciter

    Various

  • I'd strappado you and then hang you within the next half-hour.

    The Yeoman Adventurer

    George W. Gough

  • Nay, rather the strappado for me, at any time, than abandonment to foolishness so crass as this would be.

    The Record of Nicholas Freydon

    A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

  • If I die, let my boy Robin have the strappado, three hours a day, to be duly paid him during life.

  • After a smart administration of the strappado, he proceeded to examine the contents of his pinafore, which was bundled round him.


British Dictionary definitions for strappado

strappado

noun plural -does
  1. a system of torture in which a victim was hoisted by a rope tied to his wrists and then allowed to drop until his fall was suddenly checked by the rope

Word Origin

C16: from French strapade, from Italian strappare to tug sharply, probably of Germanic origin; related to German (dialect) strapfen to make taut
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012