"rotating force," 1884, from Latin torquere "to twist" (see thwart). The verb is attested from 1954. The word also is used (since 1834) by antiquarians and others as a term for the twisted metal necklace worn anciently by Gauls, Britons, Germans, etc., from Latin torques in this sense. Earlier it had been called in English torques (1690s).
A turning or twisting force.
The tendency of a force applied to an object to make it rotate about an axis. For a force applied at a single point, the magnitude of the torque is equal to the magnitude of the force multiplied by the distance from its point of application to an axis of rotation. Torque is also a vector quantity, equal to the vector product of the vector pointing from the axis to the point of application of force and the vector of force; torque thus points upward from a counterclockwise rotation. See also angular momentum, lever.