- 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.)