Definition of torturous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtôrCH(ə)rəs/


Characterized by, involving, or causing excruciating pain or suffering: a torturous eight weeks in their prison camp
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, however, he wouldn't have to continue with that torturous pain anymore.
  • We must all act now, before it is too late to stop our horses and ponies suffering long, torturous journeys to their deaths in foreign abattoirs.
  • Agonizing, torturous hours were lost as he waited outside of Laura's chambers.


Tortuous and torturous have different core meanings. Tortuous means ‘full of twists and turns’ or ‘devious, circuitous’: both paths were tortuous and strewn with boulders. Torturous is derived from torture and means ‘involving torture or excruciating pain’. Torturous should be reserved for agonized suffering; it is not a fancy word for ‘painful’ or ‘discomforting,’ as in I found the concert torturous because of the music’s volume.



a torturously hot day
More example sentences
  • We endured frequent and torturously dull mother-daughter chitchats.
  • Sadly, I have found not a single short-cut method for this torturously slow process.
  • Every weekend millions of us are forced to either go home early or face the prospect of a torturously slow journey on a night bus full of barking loons.


Late 15th century: from Anglo-Norman French, from torture 'torture'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tor·tur·ous

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