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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Torture


TORT'URE, noun [Latin tortus, torqueo, to twist.]

1. Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment.

Ghastly spasm or racking torture

2. Severe pain inflicted judicially, either as a punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person. torture may be and is inflicted in a variety of ways, as by water or fire, or by the boot or thumbkin. But the most usual mode is by the rack or wheel.

TORT'URE, verb transitive To pain to extremity; to torment.

1. To punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture an accused person.

2. To vex; to harass.

3. To keep on the stretch, as a bow. [Not in use.]