View synonyms for torment


[ verb tawr-ment, tawr-ment; noun tawr-ment ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to afflict with great bodily or mental suffering; pain:

    to be tormented with violent headaches.

    Synonyms: agonize, distress, vex, hector, harry

    Antonyms: please

  2. to worry or annoy excessively:

    to torment one with questions.

    Synonyms: fret, trouble, needle, provoke, tease, pester, plague

  3. to throw into commotion; stir up; disturb.


  1. a state of great bodily or mental suffering; agony; misery.

    Synonyms: anguish, distress, torture

  2. something that causes great bodily or mental pain or suffering.
  3. a source of much trouble, worry, or annoyance.
  4. an instrument of torture, as the rack or the thumbscrew.
  5. the infliction of torture by means of such an instrument or the torture so inflicted.



  1. to afflict with great pain, suffering, or anguish; torture
  2. to tease or pester in an annoying way

    stop tormenting the dog

“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


  1. physical or mental pain
  2. a source of pain, worry, annoyance, etc
  3. archaic.
    an instrument of torture
  4. archaic.
    the infliction of torture
“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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Derived Forms

  • torˈmenting, adjectivenoun
  • torˈmentedly, adverb
  • torˈmented, adjective
  • torˈmentingly, adverb
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Other Words From

  • tor·mented·ly adverb
  • tor·menting·ly adverb
  • tor·menting·ness noun
  • untor·mented adjective
  • untor·menting adjective
  • untor·menting·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of torment1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (noun) Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tormentum “rope, catapult, torture,” from unattested tork w -ment- ( torque, -ment ); (verb) Middle English tormenten, from Old French tormenter, derivative of torment (compare Late Latin tormentāre )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of torment1

C13: from Old French, from Latin tormentum, from torquēre
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Synonym Study

Torment , rack , torture suggest causing great physical or mental pain, suffering, or harassment. To torment is to afflict or harass as by incessant repetition of vexations or annoyances: to be tormented by doubts. To rack is to affect with such pain as that suffered by one stretched on a rack; to concentrate with painful effort: to rack one's brains. To torture is to afflict with acute and more or less protracted suffering: to torture one by keeping one in suspense.
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Example Sentences

Dana explains in the edited-down interviews with Cosson — a theater director himself, whose voice you also hear on the tape — that this sit-down is the first time she has ever confided in detail the torment she underwent.

It has been a rough year for Whitman’s legacy but a splendid one for historical truth and for freeing the Cayuses from the long torment of a missionary’s lie.

Over the course of Sherwood Brown’s arrest, conviction and 28 years in prison, there were numerous points at which Mississippi could have done right by him, or at least ended his torment.

A few think pieces about the show have even argued that Ted himself functions as a sort of ersatz therapist for a world filled with conflict and torment.

From Vox

It also was a source of torment at school, where she says she was made fun of for being poor.

We are the sick ones who torment trans people every day of their lives.

They endure further torment as rates of rape, domestic violence and early marriage skyrocket in times of crisis.

Unlike the Cheneys, here is a man whose misdemeanors came to torment him.

Year after year they have to endure the torment of being required to live up to the role that Ernest Hemingway gave them.

The periodic agony that accompanies sickle cell was joined by the torment of persistent eye infections and repeated surgeries.

Before he faced Lettice, he must forget a moment—forget his fears, his hopes, his ceaseless torment of belief and doubt.

She could not be anything but a burden and a torment; her last years would probably be dreadful, both for herself and for others.

Deep within him he knew that he had become a stranger to his own wife and the realization sharply increased his torment.

But even an age of war and pestilence could be observed without torment from behind the protective shields of the Time Machine.

When the baby slept he was in torment lest he wake it, so that it would commence again to cry.