Definition of torque in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɔːk/


1 [mass noun] Mechanics A force that tends to cause rotation: the three-litre engine has lots of torque [count noun]: during the excitation of each phase the motor produces equal positive and negative torques
More example sentences
  • A key element in these force and torque balances is the hydrodynamic shear force and torque that the cell experiences when stationary on a planar surface.
  • The most important joint-loading conditions that increased the force on the PCL graft were a varus moment and a coupled posterior drawer force and external rotation torque.
  • It is in this aquatic environment that the infant first encounters buoyant lift, gravitational pull and torque rotation.
2 variant spelling of torc.


[with object]
Apply torque or a twisting force to (an object): he gently torqued the hip joint
More example sentences
  • This is partly because the hip must be dislocated and, thus, the vein will be torqued and twisted to prepare the femur for the implant.
  • The unique design of the bow requires that the bow actually be torqued or twisted in full draw to make the arrow fly straight 4.
  • Instead of the super-duper twist ending M.Night has become famous for, this picture is gently torqued throughout its length, creating a very smooth viewing experience.



adjective (torquier, torquiest)
Example sentences
  • It is astoundingly powerful with all the brute force any driver could require, but it does not feel as torquey as the old motor, mainly because it isn't, down 40Nm at the same 4,500 rpm.
  • Of the two, Vel Satis feels sharper, sportier, encouraging full use of the 3.5 litre V6 or torquey 3.0 V6 turbo diesel.
  • It is also bigger, more powerful, more torquey, faster, more practical - thanks to the seven seats - more economical and considerably cheaper.


Late 19th century: from Latin torquere 'to twist'.

  • torch from Middle English:

    A torch in the original sense of ‘something soaked in an inflammable substance used to give light’ was often made of twisted hemp or other fibres. This is still the American meaning, and reflects the word's Latin origin, torquere ‘to twist’. Only in British English can torch describe a battery-powered electric lamp, which Americans call a flashlight. A torch song is a sad or sentimental song of unrequited love, whose name, used since the 1920s, comes from the phrase carry a torch for, ‘to love someone who does not love you in return’. The image in pass on the torch, ‘to pass on a tradition, especially one of learning or enlightenment’, is that of the runners in a relay race passing on the torch to each other, as was the custom in the ancient Greek Olympic Games. The Latin source of torch, torquere, is found in a large number of other English words. Most obviously it is the source of the engineer's torque (late 19th century), and the twisted Celtic neck-ring the torc (mid 19th century). Less obviously it is in contort (Late Middle English) ‘twist together’; distort (Late Middle English) ‘twist out of shape’; extort (early 16th century) ‘twist out of’; and retort (Late Middle English) ‘to twist back’ (the chemical apparatus gets its name from its twisted shape). Tortura ‘twisting, torment’ the Latin noun formed from the verb gives us torture and tortuous (both LME), and torment (Middle English). Thwart (Middle English) is an Old Norse word that goes back to the same Indo-European root.

Words that rhyme with torque

auk, baulk, Bork, caulk (US calk), chalk, cork, Dundalk, Falk, fork, gawk, hawk, Hawke, nork, orc, outwalk, pork, squawk, stalk, stork, talk, torc, walk, york

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: torque

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