[ pil-uh-wingks ]
/ ˈpɪl əˌwɪŋks /
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noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
an old instrument of torture similar to the thumbscrew.
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Origin of pilliwinks
1350–1400; Scots variant of late Middle English pyrwykes, pyrewinkes< ?
Words nearby pilliwinks
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for pilliwinks
/ (ˈpɪlɪˌwɪŋks) /
a medieval instrument of torture for the fingers and thumbs
Word Origin for pilliwinks
C14: of uncertain origin
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