pilliwinks

[ pil-uh-wingks ]
/ ˈpɪl əˌwɪŋks /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

an old instrument of torture similar to the thumbscrew.

Origin of pilliwinks

1350–1400; Scots variant of late Middle English pyrwykes, pyrewinkes < ?
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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