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Meaning of torture

tor•ture

Pronunciation: (tôr'chur), [key]
— n., v., -tured, -tur•ing.
—n.
  1. 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,the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
  4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
  5. a cause of severe pain or anguish.
—v.t.
  1. to subject to torture.
  2. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.
  3. to force or extort by torture: We'll torture the truth from his lips!
  4. to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form: trees tortured by storms.
  5. to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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