- Torture is severe mental or physical pain, or the cause of this pain.
- An example of torture is a man seeing a woman who just broke up with him out with another man.
- An example of torture is a woman being stoned to death.
- Torture is defined as to cause another extreme pain.
- An example of torture is being openly affectionate with a new lover in front of someone with whom you've just broken up.
- An example of torture is cutting off a person's fingers.
- the inflicting of severe pain, often, specif., in order to obtain information or a confession, get revenge, etc.
- any method by which such pain is inflicted
- any severe physical or mental pain; agony; anguish
- a cause of such pain or agony
- Rare a violent twisting, distortion, perversion, etc.
Origin of tortureFrench from Late Latin tortura, a twisting, torture from past participle of Classical Latin torquere, to twist: see tort
transitive verb-·tured, -·tur·ing
- to subject to torture
- to cause extreme physical or mental pain to; agonize
- to twist or distort (meaning, language, etc.)
- Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
- Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture suffered by inmates in the camp.
- An experience or cause of severe pain or anguish: “Just to watch them handling thick woolen winter coats in that heat was, for me, a torture” ( Arthur Miller )
transitive verbtor·tured, tor·tur·ing, tor·tures
- To subject (a person or animal) to torture.
- To bring great physical or mental pain upon (another). See Synonyms at afflict.
- To overwork, misinterpret, or distort: torture a metaphor throughout an essay; torture a rule to make it fit a case.
Origin of tortureMiddle English from Old French from Late Latin tortūra from Latin tortus past participle of torquēre to twist ; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
- Intentional causing of somebody's experiencing agony.
- (chiefly literary) The "suffering of the heart" imposed by one on another, as in personal relationships.
- Every time she says 'goodbye' it is torture!
(third-person singular simple present tortures, present participle torturing, simple past and past participle tortured)
- To intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering on (someone).
- People who torture often have sadistic tendencies.
From Late Latin tortura (“a twisting, wreathing, of bodily pain, a griping colic, Middle Latin pain inflicted by judicial or ecclesiastical authority as a means of persuasion, torture"), from Latin tortus, past participle of torquere (“to twist").