iron maiden


noun

a medieval instrument of torture fashioned as a box in the shape of a woman, large enough to hold a human being, and studded with sharp spikes on the inside.

Nearby words

  1. iron guard,
  2. iron hand,
  3. iron horse,
  4. iron law of wages,
  5. iron lung,
  6. iron man,
  7. iron meteorite,
  8. iron mold,
  9. iron out,
  10. iron pan

Origin of iron maiden

1890–95; translation of German eiserne Jungfrau

Also called iron maiden of Nuremberg.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for iron maiden

iron maiden

noun

a medieval instrument of torture, consisting of a hinged case (often shaped in the form of a woman) lined with iron spikes, which was forcibly closed on the victim
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