Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To inflict severe pain on; torture.
  • transitive verb To inflict great mental distress on.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To torture; torment; inflict very severe pain upon, as if by crucifying: as, to excruciate the feelings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Excruciated; tortured.
  • transitive verb To inflict agonizing pain upon; to torture; to torment greatly; to rack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to inflict intense pain or mental distress on (someone); to torture

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

  • verb torment emotionally or mentally
  • verb subject to torture

Etymologies

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

[Latin excruciāre, excruciāt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex– + cruciāre, to crucify, torture (from crux, cruc-, cross).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin excruciatus, past participle of excruciare, from ex- + cruciare, from cruc-, crux cross - to work against; oppose. esp. to incite reaction.

Examples

  • Fenway Park is our, to coin a word, excruciate -- something anyone who witnessed those extra-inning classics against the Yankees will instantly understand.

    Starr Gazing: The Curse Is Dead

  • Her presence used to excruciate Osborne; but go she would upon all parties of pleasure on which she heard her young friends were bent.

    Vanity Fair

  • Even at this hour the swart Savoyard (_filius nullius_) issues forth on his diurnal pilgrimage, "remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow," to excruciate on his superannuated hurdy-gurdy that sublime melody, "the hundred and seventh psalm," or the plaintive sweetness of "Isabel," perhaps speculating on a breakfast for himself and Pug, somewhere between Knightsbridge and Old Brentford.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 536, March 3, 1832

  • "You didn't excruciate my wrist so like time!" groaned Bill.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864

  • After it might have been an hour of this excruciate ecstasy the

    Chivalry

  • After it might have been an hour of this excruciate ecstasy the Countess came to Rosamund's bed.

    Chivalry

  • Her presence used to excruciate Osborne; but go she would upon all parties of pleasure on which she heard her young friends were bent.

    XXIX. Brussels

  • The feeling of languor [566], which succeeds the animation of gaiety, is itself a very severe pain; and when the mind is then vacant, a thousand disappointments and vexations rush in and excruciate.

    Life of Johnson

  • Nay, that is a cruel religion, which would excruciate hereafter those who enjoy now.

    Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida Selected from the Works of Ouida

  • 'Ignorance, density, total imbecility, is better; I would rather any day of my life sit and carve for guests -- the grossest of human trials -- a detestable dinner, than be doomed to hear some wretched fellow -- and you hear the old as well as the young -- excruciate feelings which, where they exist, cannot but be exquisitely delicate.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith

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