torture

Definitions

  • The Torture of the Huguenots—552
    The Torture of the Huguenots—552
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v torture subject to torture "The sinners will be tormented in Hell, according to the Bible"
    • v torture torment emotionally or mentally
    • n torture 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"
    • n torture the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean
    • n torture intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain "an agony of doubt","the torments of the damned"
    • n torture extreme mental distress
    • n torture unbearable physical pain
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: For hundreds of years, the Chinese zealously guarded the secret of sericulture; imperial law decreed death by torture to those who disclosed how to make silk.
    • Torture 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.
    • Torture Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment; as, torture of mind. "Ghastly spasm or racking torture ."
    • Torture The act or process of torturing. "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."
    • torture To keep on the stretch, as a bow. "The bow tortureth the string."
    • torture To punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture an accused person.
    • torture To put to torture; to pain extremely; to harass; to vex.
    • torture To wrest from the proper meaning; to distort.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n torture The act of inflicting severe pain as a punishment, as a means of persuasion, or in revenge; specifically, the act of inflicting such pain under the orders of a court of justice, royal commission, ecclesiastical organization, or other legal or self-constituted judge or authority, especially as a supposed means of extorting the truth from an accused person or as a commutative punishment (also called specifically judicial torture); the pain so inflicted. The theory was that a guilty person could be made to confess, but an innocent person not, by this means. The infliction of torture upon alleged heretics was practised by ecclesiastical powers, especially in southern Europe, in the later middle ages and down to the eighteenth century, and its infliction upon captured enemies is a common practice among savage peoples.
    • n torture In general, the act, operation, or process of inflicting excruciating pain, physical or mental.
    • n torture Excruciating pain; extreme anguish of body or mind; agony; anguish; torment.
    • n torture Synonyms Agony, Anguish, Pang, etc. See agony and list under pang.
    • torture To inflict severe pain upon; pain extremely; torment bodily or mentally.
    • torture To punish with torture; put to the torture.
    • torture To wrest from the natural position or state; especially, in a figurative sense, to distort; pervert; torment.
    • torture To pull out; stretch; strain.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Torture tor′tūr a putting to the rack or severe pain to extort a confession, or as a punishment: extreme pain: anguish of body or mind
    • v.t Torture to put to torture or to the rack: to put to extreme pain: to annoy: to vex
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Quotations

  • Benedetto Croce
    Benedetto Croce
    “Unless a capacity for thinking be accompanied by a capacity for action, a superior mind exists in torture.”
  • Lord Byron
    Lord%20Byron
    “No ear can hear nor tongue can tell the tortures of the inward hell!”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “If you torture data long enough, it will tell you anything you want !”
  • Cardinal J. Newman
    Cardinal J. Newman
    “It is as absurd to argue men, as to torture them, into believing.”
  • Matt Groening
    Matt Groening
    “Families are about love overcoming emotional torture.”
  • James A. Froude
    James%20A.%20Froude
    “Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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 Trope.

Usage

In literature:

Thou mayest torture me, and I may die.
"Saronia" by Richard Short
We suffered tortures in crossing barefooted one cold stream after another.
"An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet" by A. Henry Savage Landor
It seemed as if the fates had combined to expose poor Mary to every species of mental torture.
"Louis XIV., Makers of History Series" by John S. C. Abbott
I determined to improve the opportunity, and commence my system of torture.
"City Crimes" by Greenhorn
Hours passed, and the torture of standing in one position irksome at that, became unbearable.
"The Giraffe Hunters" by Mayne Reid
Not long had I to submit to such torture.
"The Wild Huntress" by Mayne Reid
Then the horror of Virginia's words drifted through his tortured brain.
"Rose O'Paradise" by Grace Miller White
Daoud felt no fear of death, and he would not let them take him prisoner to torture him.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
He cringed inwardly from the thought of imprisonment and torture.
"The Saracen: The Holy War" by Robert Shea
In 1620 had to intervene to protect his mother from being tortured for witchcraft.
"Pioneers of Science" by Oliver Lodge
For thirst is the most terrible of all forms of torture.
"In the Musgrave Ranges" by Jim Bushman
High Priest, let her be tortured in Aten's hands until she reveals where he is!
"Astounding Stories, July, 1931" by Various
The conception is too bulky to be born alive, and in the torture of thinking, we stand dumb.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete" by Thomas Paine
Tortured by the heat, and pursued by lighted twigs, that fell like fiery darts around her, she fled back into the gorge.
"Cudjo's Cave" by J. T. Trowbridge
Their strangled, tortured forms witnessed to the violence of her mood.
"The Immortal Moment" by May Sinclair
The fiery Italian described with much gesticulation the torture of an inactive life.
"Klytia" by George Taylor
He must not live to torture our vex'd sense, But die; though he'd no fault but innocence.
"A Select Collection of Old English Plays" by Robert Dodsley
Endure that torture as long as you possibly can.
"The Return of Tharn" by Howard Carleton Browne
As he continued firm, he was put to the torture and tormented with great cruelty.
"Mary, Help of Christians" by Various
THE TORTURE OF THE BOOT.
"Marguerite de Valois" by Alexandre Dumas
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In poetry:

I did not know the nights of gloom,
The days of misery;
The long, long years of dark despair,
That crushed and tortured thee.
"To Cowper" by Anne Bronte
While she sat striving with despair
Beside his tortured form,
And pouring her deep soul in prayer
Forth on the rushing storm.
"Gertrude, Or Fidelity Till Death" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
"O, if in heaven, my EDWARD'S breast
This deed of mercy knew,
That gives my tortur'd bosom rest,
He sure would bless thee too!
"An American Tale" by Helen Maria Williams
"'Tis my friend," he cries, "the guerdon
Fast and prayer have won;
Want is past, and hunger's burden
Soon shall torture none."
"Mon-Daw-Min" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
Be that it is and thou art all;
And what thou art so thou hast written
Thee of the lutanists of Love,
Or of the torture-smitten.
"Self" by Madison Julius Cawein
Tell me, tender Youths, who languish
For some Fair Disdainful She,
If you feel the cruel Anguish,
That afflicts and tortures Me.
"Song" by Richardson Pack

In news:

Most Evangelicals and Catholics Condone Torture in Some Instances.
Austin (Geoffrey Hoffman, left) and brother Lee (Cliff Bailey) enter into a tortured collaboration in "True West," now playing at Convergence- Continuum 's Liminis theater.
From tax cuts to torture, John McCain has flip-flopped on a host of issues †including his own immigration bill.
Southern Baptists' Top Ethicist Calls Waterboarding `Torture'.
Former President George W Bush denied anyone was tortured.
Tortured couples who have to stay together.
Defending John McCain on Torture.
Tortured, wrecked human bodies of one type or another will be piling up on screens this weekend.
R: bloody and brutal violence and torture, language.
He was arraigned on two counts of torture and two counts of first degree child abuse.
Recently an otherwise seemingly thoughtful person said to me, I know torture ordinarily doesn't work because you can't coerce someone into giving you trustworthy information.
In my 10 years of documenting medical evidence of torture and caring for survivors, I have come to know well that torture can never be justified.
Many children are abandoned, tortured and killed because they are said to be witches.
What a great day for torturing roses.
Half the fun of having an adventure is torturing your friends by forcing them to sit through the hours of video you shot.
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In science:

We can imagine dozens of different criminal purposes for which the primitive individuals could be kidnapped, tortured and even killed, including ab ject topics such as ‘high gastronomy’ and sadist games.
Brane Worlds, the Subanthropic Principle and the Undetectability Conjecture
F3 - Torture by in laws for having given birth to only female children.
Mathematical Analysis of the Problems faced by the People With Disabilities (PWDs)
The question of where to draw the line tortured us, and we bring our apologies to all the pioneers who “fell through the cracks.” The second part of the book is an attempt to present a historical perspective on the development of the sub ject.
Introduction to "The Supersymmetric World: The Beginnings of The Theory"
Based on Emmanuel’s description, my own prejudice made me expect a weak and tortured figure.
The work of Fred Cohen
Instead, in came a man, anything but weak and tortured, almost running with the aid of his cane, with this huge smile on his face, and a strong confident voice.
The work of Fred Cohen
If, with considerable effort, such a value is elicited, it is about as trustworthy as a confession extracted through torture.
Erich Leo Lehmann---A glimpse into his life and work
The CIA was exposed overthrowing the governments of Guatemala, Iran, and Chile to install torturing kleptocrats friendly to American corporations.
Physics Education Research: Or it's so hard to find good help these days
As rhetoric about human rights flowed liberally, so did torture equipment for the Shah and tanks and planes for Indonesia to slaughter in East Timor.
Physics Education Research: Or it's so hard to find good help these days
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