torture

To torture is to torment or purposefully put someone through intense pain or agony.

The word torture comes from the word for "harm." It can refer to the deliberate infliction of physical or mental suffering in order to punish or obtain information; the act of distorting something, so it means something it wasn't intended to mean; or extreme mental distress or unbearable physical pain not necessarily inflicted by another.

Definitions of torture
  1. noun
    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”
    synonyms: torturing
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 17 types...
    hide 17 types...
    bastinado, falanga
    a form of torture in which the soles of the feet are beaten with whips or cudgels
    boot
    a form of foot torture in which the feet are encased in iron and slowly crushed
    burning
    a form of torture in which cigarettes or cigars or other hot implements are used to burn the victim's skin
    crucifixion, excruciation
    the infliction of extremely painful punishment or suffering
    genital torture
    blunt or penetrating trauma or rape (vaginal or anal)
    judicial torture
    torture that is sanctioned by the state and executed by duly accredited officials
    kia quen
    a form of foot torture used by the Chinese in which the victim's foot was placed between three pieces of bamboo and systematically squeezed
    kittee
    a form of torture used by American Indians in which sensitive parts of the body were squeezed between two boards until the victim could bear no more
    nail pulling, nail removal
    a form of torture in which the fingernails or toenails are removed
    picket, piquet
    a form of military punishment used by the British in the late 17th century in which a soldier was forced to stand on one foot on a pointed stake
    prolonged interrogation
    a form of psychological torture inflicted by questioning the victim for hours
    rack
    a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body
    sensory deprivation
    a form of psychological torture inflicted by depriving the victim of all sensory input
    sleep deprivation
    a form of psychological torture inflicted by depriving the victim of sleep
    strapado, strappado
    a form of torture in which the hands are tied behind a person's back and they are lifted off the ground by a rope tied to their wrists, then allowed to drop until their fall is checked with a jerk by the rope
    electric shock
    the use of electricity to administer punishment or torture
    dismemberment, taking apart
    the removal of limbs; being cut to pieces
    type of:
    persecution
    the act of persecuting (especially on the basis of race or religion)
  2. noun
    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
    synonyms: agony, torment
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hurt, suffering
    feelings of mental or physical pain
  3. noun
    unbearable physical pain
    synonyms: torment
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
  4. noun
    extreme mental distress
    synonyms: anguish, torment
    see moresee less
    type of:
    distress, hurt, suffering
    psychological suffering
  5. verb
    subject to torture
    synonyms: excruciate, torment
    see moresee less
    types:
    rack
    torture on the rack
    martyr, martyrise, martyrize
    torture and torment like a martyr
    type of:
    injure, wound
    cause injuries or bodily harm to
  6. verb
    torment emotionally or mentally
    synonyms: excruciate, rack, torment
    see moresee less
    type of:
    anguish, hurt, pain
    cause emotional anguish or make miserable
  7. noun
    the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean
    synonyms: distortion, overrefinement, straining, twisting
    see moresee less
    type of:
    falsification, misrepresentation
    a willful perversion of facts
Word Family