Dictionary.com

thumbscrew

[ thuhm-skroo ]
/ ˈθʌmˌskru /
Save This Word!

noun

a screw, the head of which is so constructed that it may be turned easily with the thumb and a finger.
Often thumbscrews. an old instrument of torture by which one or both thumbs were compressed.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of thumbscrew

First recorded in 1705–15; thumb + screw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for thumbscrew

British Dictionary definitions for thumbscrew

thumbscrew
/ (ˈθʌmˌskruː) /

noun

an instrument of torture that pinches or crushes the thumbs
a screw with projections on its head enabling it to be turned by the thumb and forefinger
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