- the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
- a method of inflicting such pain.
- Often tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
- extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
- a cause of severe pain or anguish.
- to subject to torture.
- to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.
- to force or extort by torture: We'll torture the truth from his lips!
- to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form: trees tortured by storms.
- to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).
Origin of torture
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for torture
Torture, the UVa rape, police violence—we hunger for the facts, and then twist them.On Torture, Chuck Johnson & Sondheim
December 13, 2014
He also wrote, “Torture is not a thing that we can tolerate.”The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built
December 12, 2014
White House Must Decide Who Will Be Named in the CIA ‘Torture Report’The Best of the Beast, Aug 9-10
August 9, 2014
Torture continues apace, as Amnesty International has documented, and few are held accountable.One Year Later, Libya’s Long Road Continues
October 22, 2012
“Torture in police detention [has] increased dramatically with the uprising,” she says.Assad’s House of Torture
Anna Therese Day
October 14, 2012
Torture comes, in the minds of many of us, to be not only His main function but His only function.The Conquest of Fear
Torture underwent a special development in the Euphrates valley.Folkways
William Graham Sumner
It was a grim business that waited him in the Torture Lodge.IT and Other Stories
Torture and mutilation, metaphorically speaking, are possible to him.The Daughters of Danaus
Torture had been threatened, the fire had been threatened; what was left?Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
- to cause extreme physical pain to, esp in order to extract information, break resistance, etcto torture prisoners
- to give mental anguish to
- to twist into a grotesque form
- physical or mental anguish
- the practice of torturing a person
- a cause of mental agony or worry
Word Origin and History for torture
early 15c., "contortion, twisting, distortion," from Old French torture "infliction of great pain, great pain, agony," and directly from Late Latin torture "a twisting, writhing, torture, torment," from stem of Latin torquere "to twist, turn, wind, wring, distort" (see thwart).
1580s, from torture (n.). Related: Tortured; torturing.