the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
a method of inflicting such pain.
Often tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
a cause of severe pain or anguish.
to subject to torture.
to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.
to force or extort by torture: We'll torture the truth from his lips!
to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form: trees tortured by storms.
to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).
- tor·tur·a·ble, adjective
- tor·tured·ly, adverb
- tor·tur·er, noun
- tor·ture·some, adjective
- tor·tur·ing·ly, adverb
- o·ver·tor·ture, verb (used with object), o·ver·tor·tured, o·ver·tor·tur·ing.
- pre·tor·ture, noun, verb (used with object), pre·tor·tured, pre·tor·tur·ing.
- self-torture, noun
- self-tortured, adjective
- self-tor·tur·ing, adjective
- un·tor·tured, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use torture in a sentence
In my eyes she killed those people… exposing a gay person like this is akin to torturing him slowly to death.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays | Bel Trew | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A number of Japanese soldiers were criminally charged and convicted for waterboarding and otherwise torturing prisoners.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built | Michael Daly | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Prosecuting those involved in torturing prisoners will do just that.Why the Muslim World Isn’t Flipping Out Over the CIA Torture Report | Dean Obeidallah | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Purists sometimes seem to think that disregarding rules about prepositions is as heinous as torturing children.Go Ahead, End With a Preposition: Grammar Rules We All Can Live With | Nick Romeo | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Torturing children for fun, by contrast, is objectionable regardless of whether those around you have adopted the practice.Go Ahead, End With a Preposition: Grammar Rules We All Can Live With | Nick Romeo | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In a voice thick with the torturing rage of impotence he gave the order upon which the grim Parisian insisted.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
I would leave no room for the torturing thought that had I been less precipitate she would have been more kindly.A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
Twice she prepared to write to him, and end a suspense torturing to both,—and twice dashed down the pen in shame and pride.Alone | Marion Harland
He nearly betrayed himself once by shouting from his window at a boy who was torturing a grasshopper.The Life of Mazzini | Bolton King
He did not believe he would sleep a wink through the night, for never were his emotions wrought to a more keenly torturing point.Two Boys in Wyoming | Edward S. Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for torture
to cause extreme physical pain to, esp in order to extract information, break resistance, etc: to 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
- tortured, adjective
- torturedly, adverb
- torturer, noun
- torturesome or torturous, adjective
- torturing, adjective
- torturingly, adverb
- torturously, adverb
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