Meaning of torment


By repeatedly trying to make someone miserable you torment them. The noun torment is the result of the verb torment.

After stealing the old lady’s purse, you might expect to be tormented by many sleepless nights. Those nights without sleep will torment (tor-MENT) you. They are your torment (TOR-ment). Perhaps you shouldn’t have done that.

You’ll doubtless notice the relationship between torture and torment. But the subtle difference between them is that to torment someone is to torture them repeatedly. Often this is used metaphorically. For example, calling someone over and over to demand payment isn’t actually torture, but it’s certainly a way to torment them.

Definitions of torment
  1. noun

    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain

    torments of the damned”

    agony, torture

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    type of:

    hurt, suffering

    feelings of mental or physical pain

  2. noun

    unbearable physical pain



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    type of:

    hurting, pain

    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder

  3. noun

    extreme mental distress


    anguish, torture

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    type of:

    distress, hurt, suffering

    psychological suffering

  4. noun

    a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented



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    type of:

    annoyance, chafe, vexation

    anger produced by some annoying irritation

  5. noun

    a severe affliction



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    type of:


    a cause of great suffering and distress

  6. noun

    the act of harassing someone


    badgering, bedevilment, worrying

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    type of:

    harassment, molestation

    the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism

  7. verb

    torment emotionally or mentally


    excruciate, rack, torture

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    type of:

    anguish, hurt, pain

    cause emotional anguish or make miserable

  8. verb

    treat cruelly

    “The children
    tormented the stuttering teacher”

    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag

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    drive up the wall; get on someone’s nerves

    make ineffective or powerless
    badger, beleaguer, bug, pester, tease

    annoy persistently
    oppress, persecute

    cause to suffer

    oust politically
    type of:

    beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke

    annoy continually or chronically

  9. verb

    subject to torture

    “The sinners will be
    tormented in Hell, according to the Bible”

    excruciate, torture

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    torture on the rack
    martyr, martyrise, martyrize

    torture and torment like a martyr
    type of:

    injure, wound

    cause injuries or bodily harm to

Word Family

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