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iron maiden

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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.

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Also called iron maiden of Nuremberg.

Origin of iron maiden

1890–95; translation of German eiserne Jungfrau
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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
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