[ tawr-cher ]
/ ˈtɔr tʃər /


verb (used with object), tor·tured, tor·tur·ing.

Nearby words

  1. tortricid,
  2. tortuga,
  3. tortuosity,
  4. tortuous,
  5. tortuously,
  6. torture porn,
  7. torturer,
  8. torturous,
  9. torturously,
  10. torula

Origin of torture

First recorded in 1530–40, torture is from the Late Latin word tortūra a twisting, torment, torture. See tort, -ure

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for torture

British Dictionary definitions for torture


/ (ˈtɔːtʃə) /

verb (tr)

to cause extreme physical pain to, esp in order to extract information, break resistance, etcto torture prisoners
to give mental anguish to
to twist into a grotesque form


physical or mental anguish
the practice of torturing a person
a cause of mental agony or worry
Derived Forms

Word Origin for torture

C16: from Late Latin tortūra a twisting, from torquēre to twist


The adjective torturous is sometimes confused with tortuous. One speaks of a torturous experience, i.e. one that involves pain or suffering, but of a tortuous road, i.e. one that winds or twists

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

Word Origin and History for torture
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper