Definition of torment in English:

torment

Syllabification: tor·ment

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈtôrment
 
/
1Severe physical or mental suffering: their deaths have left both families in torment
More example sentences
  • It is a perilous journey into the unknown, with little or no guidance, mental torment and physical pain at every turn, and an uncertain outcome.
  • Ministers who believe in an eternal mental and physical torment are much thicker on the ground in the Highlands and Islands and on the west coast of the mainland.
  • Gloucester undergoes physical and mental torment because he makes the same mistake that Lear does.
Synonyms
1.1A cause of suffering: the journey must have been a torment for them
More example sentences
  • He has a brace too, and obviously sees me as a fellow sufferer of orthodontic torments with whom he can generally commiserate and complain to about not having had toffee in eighteen months.
  • Andersen set these cruel torments in the wider context of a Christian allegory about suffering and redemption.
  • Under these pressures and the additional torments of yellow fever, all the veneers of civilization peel away and ‘the brutishness of primeval man burst forth.’
Synonyms
ordeal, affliction, scourge, curse, plague, bane, thorn in someone's side/flesh, cross to bear; sorrow, tribulation, trouble

verb

Pronunciation: /tôrˈment
 
/
[with object] Back to top  
1Cause to experience severe mental or physical suffering: he was tormented by jealousy
More example sentences
  • This is someone else who is unable to fit in, because he suffers from tinnitus, tormented by sounds inside his head - leading to an awe-inspiring exorcism scene.
  • On his journey, he endures numerous physical hardships and is tormented with many psychological dilemmas.
  • Now reflect that all these sentient beings, although they naturally desire happiness and wish to avoid suffering, are tormented by unimaginable sufferings.
Synonyms
torture, afflict, rack, harrow, plague, haunt, bedevil, distress, agonize
1.1Annoy or provoke in a deliberately unkind way: every day I have kids tormenting me because they know I live alone
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, in spite of some progress, many of these kids are still tormented and teased.
  • Some are described as mischievous or ‘cheeky’ and like to annoy and torment people by taking things away or hiding them.
  • I only tell you this to assure you that many Mac people are near and dear to me and I would never do anything intentionally to taunt, tease or torment any of you.
Synonyms
tease, taunt, bait, harass, provoke, goad, plague, bother, trouble, persecute
informal needle

Origin

Middle English (as both noun and verb referring to the infliction or suffering of torture): from Old French torment (noun), tormenter (verb), from Latin tormentum 'instrument of torture', from torquere 'to twist'.

Derivatives

tormentedly

Pronunciation: /tôrˈmentədlē/
adverb
More example sentences
  • These works are fuel for the imagination; ‘The Source’ is like a vision of hell, with small, scratched out figures tormentedly toiling at the behest of their larger, scratched out masters.
  • It was his inaction which led to Ann marrying Rothermere, but after the war they slowly and tormentedly realised their mistake, if that is what it was, and married in 1952.
  • The tone quality was exceptional, and his voice went from lyrical to tormentedly fractured within a phrase.

tormentingly

Pronunciation: /tôrˈmentiNGlē/
adverb
More example sentences
  • Slowly, tormentingly, William's growing, love-gorged narcissism finally drives Emily away.
  • The river rises to swallow everything around, its rise painfully, tormentingly gradual like a torturous, emaciating death.
  • He was tormentingly tense and uneasy, and at the same time felt an extraordinary need for solitude.

tormentor

Pronunciation: /tôrˈmentər/
noun
More example sentences
  • A Government Minister, who was bullied at school and forced to take on his tormentors in a fight, insisted yesterday that violence was not the answer to the problem.
  • Self identifies in his tormentor the classic insecurity of the playground bully.
  • For each mobile received, Refuge, which helps victims of domestic violence escape their tormentors, receives £2.75.

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