Dictionary.com

pilliwinks

[ pil-uh-wingks ]
/ ˈpɪl əˌwɪŋks /
Save This Word!

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
an old instrument of torture similar to the thumbscrew.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

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. 2022

British Dictionary definitions for pilliwinks

pilliwinks
/ (ˈpɪlɪˌwɪŋks) /

pl n
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
FEEDBACK