Definitions

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

  • noun Great physical pain or mental anguish.
  • noun A source of harassment, annoyance, or pain.
  • noun The torture inflicted on prisoners under interrogation.
  • transitive verb To cause to undergo great physical pain or mental anguish. synonym: afflict.
  • transitive verb To annoy, pester, or harass.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun An engine of war for casting stones, darts, or other missiles; a tormentum.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence, anything which causes great pain or suffering; a source of trouble, sorrow, or anguish.
  • noun A state of suffering, bodily or mental; misery; agony.
  • noun An object of torture; a victim.
  • noun A tempest; a tornado.
  • noun Synonyms Anguish, Torture, etc. See agony.

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

  • noun (Mil. Antiq.), obsolete An engine for casting stones.
  • noun Extreme pain; anguish; torture; the utmost degree of misery, either of body or mind.
  • noun That which gives pain, vexation, or misery.
  • transitive verb To put to extreme pain or anguish; to inflict excruciating misery upon, either of body or mind; to torture.
  • transitive verb To pain; to distress; to afflict.
  • transitive verb colloq. To tease; to vex; to harass.
  • transitive verb rare To put into great agitation.

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tormentum, from torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French torment, from Latin tormentum ("something operated by twisting"), from torquere ("to twist").

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.

  • 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?

  • 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

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

    THE APOSTATE

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

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

    THE APOSTATE: written by Jack London

Comments

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  • Atormentar, tormento

    October 19, 2007

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

    October 19, 2007

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

    February 20, 2008