Definition of torture verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    torture

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃər//
     
    [often passive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they torture
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃər//
     
    he / she / it tortures
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃərz//
     
    past simple tortured
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃərd//
     
    past participle tortured
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃərd//
     
    -ing form torturing
    BrE BrE//ˈtɔːtʃərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɔːrtʃərɪŋ//
     
    Unhappiness, Terrorism
     
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  1. 1to hurt somebody physically or mentally in order to punish them or make them tell you something torture somebody Many of the rebels were captured and tortured by secret police. The prisoners were routinely tortured. torture somebody into doing something He was tortured into giving them the information. See related entries: Terrorism
  2. 2torture somebody to make somebody feel extremely unhappy or anxious synonym torment He spent his life tortured by the memories of his childhood. See related entries: Unhappiness
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘distortion, twisting’, or a physical disorder characterized by this): via French from late Latin tortura ‘twisting, torment’, from Latin torquere ‘to twist’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: torture

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