Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Great physical pain or mental anguish.
  • n. A source of harassment, annoyance, or pain.
  • n. The torture inflicted on prisoners under interrogation.
  • transitive v. To cause to undergo great physical pain or mental anguish. See Synonyms at afflict.
  • transitive v. To agitate or upset greatly.
  • transitive v. To annoy, pester, or harass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A catapult or other kind of war-engine.
  • n. Torture, originally as inflicted by an instrument of torture.
  • n. Any extreme pain, anguish or misery, either physical or mental.
  • v. To cause severe suffering to (stronger than to vex but weaker than to torture.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An engine for casting stones.
  • n. Extreme pain; anguish; torture; the utmost degree of misery, either of body or mind.
  • n. That which gives pain, vexation, or misery.
  • transitive v. To put to extreme pain or anguish; to inflict excruciating misery upon, either of body or mind; to torture.
  • transitive v. To pain; to distress; to afflict.
  • transitive v. To tease; to vex; to harass.
  • transitive v. To put into great agitation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An engine of war for casting stones, darts, or other missiles; a tormentum.
  • n. An instrument of torture, as the rack, the thumbscrew, or the wheel; also, the application of such an instrument, or the torture caused by it.
  • n. Hence, anything which causes great pain or suffering; a source of trouble, sorrow, or anguish.
  • n. A state of suffering, bodily or mental; misery; agony.
  • n. An object of torture; a victim.
  • n. A tempest; a tornado.
  • n. Synonyms Anguish, Torture, etc. See agony.
  • To put to torment, as with the rack or the wheel; torture.
  • To bring suffering or misery upon; pain; plague; distress; afflict.
  • To twist; distort.
  • To throw into agitation; disturb greatly.
  • Synonyms To agonize, rack, excruciate.
  • Plague, Worry, etc. (See tease.) Trouble, Distress, etc. See afflict.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. extreme mental distress
  • n. a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented
  • n. intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
  • v. treat cruelly
  • v. subject to torture
  • n. a severe affliction
  • v. torment emotionally or mentally
  • n. the act of harassing someone
  • n. unbearable physical pain

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tormentum, from torquēre, to twist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French torment, from Latin tormentum ("something operated by twisting"), from torquere ("to twist"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Throughout, [Hans-Christian] Schmid remains agnostic, suggesting that Michaela's problems, whatever their origin, prove only that a mind in torment is a terrible thing.

    GreenCine Daily: Weekend shorts.

  • Poses and gestures change meaning, from an expression of torment in "Scene of War" to the benign motion of a bather wringing out her hair.

    Stolen Moments and Persistent Poses

  • Of one thing he was certain: No drop of red dew shaken from the lion-mane of some sun in torment, was the sounding sphere.

    THE RED ONE

  • But at what point did it become cool to drive a fellow teen to breaking point where the only foreseeable way to escape such persistent torment is to take their own life?

    Melinda Hutchings: Why Do Teens Bully?

  • It was a bestial cry, as of a soul in torment, filled with infinite protest and pain.

    THE APOSTATE: written by Jack London

  • In torment he was helped by her to dress, and in torment he went forth from the house so that his world should have ocular evidence that the beating he had received did not keep him in bed.

    CHAPTER XIII

  • Oh no! It sounds as if the same dreadful torment is going on in your home, under your very nose!

    More Honest Scrapping « Tales from the Reading Room

  • The naysayer will howl like a soul in torment over what I wrote, but the bottom line is sportsmen must become more gentle and noble to be regarded well.

    See Us in the Funny Pages

  • Horror stories, stories about monsters, are stories about souls in torment --- they're either in hell or on their way there.

    Lance Mannion:

  • At any rate, almost alone among these lost, unhappy, and uninspired souls in torment, Freddy Rumsen seemed to be having a good time being an ad man.

    Lance Mannion:

Comments

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  • 'Thou are to me a delicious torment. Thine ever, or never.' -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    February 20, 2008

  • When it's a verb: /tɔ:'ment/ (last syllable stressed) // when it's a noun: /'tɔ:ment/ (first syllable stressed)

    October 19, 2007

  • Atormentar, tormento

    October 19, 2007