- 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.).
Origin of torture
SynonymsSee more synonyms for torture on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for torturing
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
December 30, 2014
Prosecuting those involved in torturing prisoners will do just that.Why the Muslim World Isn’t Flipping Out Over the CIA Torture Report
December 12, 2014
Purists sometimes seem to think that disregarding rules about prepositions is as heinous as torturing children.
Torturing children for fun, by contrast, is objectionable regardless of whether those around you have adopted the practice.
There are plenty of other vigilantes interested in torturing gay men with the winking semi-approval of the authorities.Jail Won't Stop Russia's Anti-Gay Psycho
August 20, 2014
His sad, pock-marked face had a torturing fascination for her.Weighed and Wanting
Oh, what a torturing, doubt-raising, perplexing thing this Love was!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
"You have been torturing him," she cried, and her words were hard and fierce, her eyes blazing.
We have not been torturing him, though I confess that we were on the point of putting him to the question.
And yet, what home-coming could have brought him such a torturing joy as was now his?Mistress Wilding
- 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
Word Origin and History for torturing
early 15c., "contortion, twisting, distortion," from Old French torture "infliction of great pain, great pain, agony," and directly from Late Latin torture "a twisting, writhing, torture, torment," from stem of Latin torquere "to twist, turn, wind, wring, distort" (see thwart).
1580s, from torture (n.). Related: Tortured; torturing.