Definitions for tortureˈtɔr tʃər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word torture

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

tor•tureˈtɔr tʃər(n.; v.)-tured, -tur•ing.

  1. (n.)the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.

  2. a method of inflicting such pain.

  3. Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.

  4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.

  5. a cause of severe pain or anguish.

  6. (v.t.)to subject to torture.

  7. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind.

  8. to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural shape.

Origin of torture:

1530–40; < LL tortūra a twisting


Princeton's WordNet

  1. anguish, torment, torture(noun)

    extreme mental distress

  2. torture, torment(noun)

    unbearable physical pain

  3. agony, torment, torture(noun)

    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain

    "an agony of doubt"; "the torments of the damned"

  4. distortion, overrefinement, straining, torture, twisting(noun)

    the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean

  5. torture, torturing(verb)

    the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason

    "it required unnatural torturing to extract a confession"

  6. torment, torture, excruciate, rack(verb)

    torment emotionally or mentally

  7. torture, excruciate, torment(verb)

    subject to torture

    "The sinners will be tormented in Hell, according to the Bible"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. torture(noun)ˈtɔr tʃər

    the activity of hurting sb badly over a long period, especially to make them tell you sth

    They subjected him to hours of torture.

  2. tortureˈtɔr tʃər

    a very boring or unpleasant experience

    a 3 hour meeting that was pure torture

  3. torture(verb)ˈtɔr tʃər

    to make sb experience torture

    They threatened to torture him.


  1. torture(Noun)

    Intentional causing of somebody's experiencing agony.

  2. torture(Noun)

    The "suffering of the heart" imposed by one on another, as in personal relationships.

    Every time she says 'goodbye' it is torture!

  3. torture(Verb)

    To intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering on (someone).

    People who torture often have sadistic tendencies.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Torture(noun)

    extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment; as, torture of mind

  2. Torture(noun)

    especially, severe pain inflicted judicially, either as punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person, as by water or fire, by the boot or thumbkin, or by the rack or wheel

  3. Torture(noun)

    the act or process of torturing

  4. Torture(verb)

    to put to torture; to pain extremely; to harass; to vex

  5. Torture(verb)

    to punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture an accused person

  6. Torture(verb)

    to wrest from the proper meaning; to distort

  7. Torture(verb)

    to keep on the stretch, as a bow


  1. Torture

    Torture is the practice or act of deliberately inflicting severe physical pain and possibly injury on a person, though psychological and animal torture also exist. Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals, groups and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, and forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from only a few minutes to several days or even longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, interrogation or coercion of the victim or a third party, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. The torturer may or may not intend to kill or injure the victim, but sometimes torture is deliberately fatal and can accompany forms of murder or capital punishment. The aim may also be to inflict pain but without causing fatal injury, or sometimes any injury at all. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. There is also torture that can be fatal eventually, but where attempts are made not to kill the victim quickly to prolong the length of time of the suffering. Although historically torture was sanctioned by some states, torture in the 21st century is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries. It is considered to be a violation of human rights, and is declared to be unacceptable by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories of the Third Geneva Convention and Fourth Geneva Convention officially agree not to torture prisoners in armed conflicts. Torture is also prohibited by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by 147 countries.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Torture

    The intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon an individual or individuals, including the torture of animals.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. torture

    As defined by Title 18, US Code, Section 2340, it is any act committed by a person acting under color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.

Translations for torture

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the act or practice of torturing

The king would not permit torture.

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