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5 definitions found
 for torture
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  torture \tor"ture\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. tortured
     (t[^o]r"t[-u]rd; 135); p. pr. & vb. n. tTorturing.] [Cf. F.
     Torturer. ]
     1. To put to torture; to pain extremely; to harass; to vex.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. To punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture
        an accused person. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. To wrest from the proper meaning; to distort. --Jar.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. To keep on the stretch, as a bow. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              The bow tortureth the string.         --Bacon.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Torture \Tor"ture\ (t[^o]r"t[-u]r; 135), n. [F., fr. L. tortura,
     fr. torquere, tortum, to twist, rack, torture; probably akin
     to Gr. tre`pein to turn, G. drechseln to turn on a lathe, and
     perhaps to E. queer. Cf. Contort, Distort, Extort,
     Retort, Tart, n., Torch, Torment, Tortion, Tort,
     1. Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony;
        torment; as, torture of mind. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
              Ghastly spasm or racking torture.     --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The act or process of torturing.
        [1913 Webster]
              Torture, which had always been deciared illegal, and
              which had recently been declared illegal even by the
              servile judges of that age, was inflicted for the
              last time in England in the month of May, 1640.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: extreme mental distress [syn: anguish, torment,
      2: unbearable physical pain [syn: torture, torment]
      3: intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain;
         "an agony of doubt"; "the torments of the damned" [syn:
         agony, torment, torture]
      4: the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something
         it was not intended to mean [syn: distortion,
         overrefinement, straining, torture, twisting]
      5: 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" [syn: torture,
      v 1: torment emotionally or mentally [syn: torment, torture,
           excruciate, rack]
      2: subject to torture; "The sinners will be tormented in Hell,
         according to the Bible" [syn: torture, excruciate,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  206 Moby Thesaurus words for "torture":
     Procrustean bed, abuse, afflict, aggrieve, agonize, agonizingness,
     agony, ail, anguish, atrocious pain, bed of Procrustes, befoul,
     bewitch, bias, bite, blight, bloody, boot, burn, chafe, claw,
     clawing, color, condemn, confinement, contort, convulse, corrupt,
     cruciation, crucifixion, crucify, curse, cut, damage, defile,
     deprave, desolate, desolateness, desolation, despoil, destroy,
     disadvantage, dismember, dismemberment, disserve, distort,
     distress, do a mischief, do evil, do ill, do wrong, do wrong by,
     doom, draw and quarter, envenom, estrapade, excruciate,
     excruciatingness, excruciation, fester, fret, gall, galleys,
     garble, get into trouble, get one wrong, get wrong, give pain,
     gloss, gnaw, grate, grill, grind, gripe, harass, hard labor, harm,
     harrow, heartbreak, heartsickness, hell, hell upon earth, hex,
     holocaust, horror, hurt, impair, impale, impalement, imprisonment,
     incarceration, infect, inflame, inflict pain, injure, iron heel,
     irritate, jailing, jinx, keelhaul, keelhauling, kill by inches,
     lacerate, laceration, lancinate, lancination, macerate, maim,
     maltreat, mangle, martyr, martyrdom, martyrization, martyrize,
     menace, misapply, misapprehend, miscite, misconceive, misconstrue,
     misdeem, misdirect, misexplain, misexplicate, misexpound,
     misinterpret, misjudge, misquote, misread, misrender, misrepresent,
     misshape, mistake, mistranslate, mistreat, misunderstand, misuse,
     molest, mutilate, nightmare, nip, oppress, outrage, pain, passion,
     penal servitude, persecute, persecution, pervert, picket,
     picketing, pierce, pinch, play havoc with, play hob with, poison,
     pollute, prejudice, prick, prolong the agony, punish, purgatory,
     put to torture, rack, railriding, rankle, rasp, rip, rock pile,
     rub, savage, scarify, scarpines, scathe, screw, slant, smite,
     squeeze, stab, sting, strain, strain the sense, strappado, taint,
     tar and feather, tar-and-feathering, the gantlet, threaten,
     thumbscrew, torment, tormentingness, torturousness, try, tweak,
     twist, twist the words, varnish, violate, warp, wheel, wind, wound,
     wreak havoc on, wrench, wring, wrong

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  TORTURE, punishments. A punishment inflicted in some countries on supposed 
  criminals to induce them to confess their crimes, and to reveal their 
       2. This absurd and tyrannical practice never was in use in the United 
  States; for no man is bound to accuse himself. An attempt to torture a 
  person accused of crime, in order to extort a confession, is an indictable 
  offence. 2 Tyler, 380. Vide Question. 

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