Definition of torc in English:


(also torque)


  • A neck ornament consisting of a band of twisted metal, worn especially by the ancient Gauls and Britons.

    • ‘Bronze rapiers and gold torcs survive from c. 1000 BC, while from c. 700 BC there are trumpets and cauldrons in bronze, as well as many types of gold ornament.’
    • ‘Ms Cahill said: ‘There is still some debate as to whether the torcs were made in the Iron Age or Bronze Age, but nevertheless they are very old.’’
    • ‘Doremi smiled and slipped the torc around her neck.’
    • ‘From the Iron Age, deliciously feminine hoop earrings and a torc with a curious story attached: when the 19th century owner wore it to a Dublin ball, Sir William told her it was ancient and she never wore it again.’
    • ‘It is hoped to have replicas of both it and a torc, which was found in Curry in 1850 and which is in the British Museum, on display in the new centre.’
    • ‘Imagine, for example, the Iron Age without the Snettisham torcs; the end of Roman Britain without the Mildenhall and Hoxne hoards; or the Anglo-Saxon period without the Sutton Hoo ship burial.’
    • ‘They appear to have been a wealthy and powerful tribe in the 1st and 2nd cents. BC, for from their territory come the finest hoards of gold torcs found in Iron Age Britain.’
    • ‘Around the chieftain's neck lay a gold torc, and on his right wrist was a gold bracelet.’
    • ‘They are portrayed by themselves as having wavy swept-back hair, heavy moustaches on the men, and wearing a metal torc or neck-ring.’
    • ‘Other jewellery included a shale bracelet, cut in the shape of a twisted metal torc; and a silver earring with a single blue stone.’
    • ‘An important hoard of gold torcs, bronze bracelets and amber beads was found at Dooyork, Co. Mayo, in November 2001.’
    • ‘Three gold torcs jewellery which could be worn as an amulet or a child's necklace bronze bracelets and an assortment of amber beads, were discovered by the brothers while walking along a Co Mayo beach.’
    • ‘A bracelet, necklace pendant (both unique in Britain), torc, beads and rings were buried in a plain pot beside two copper alloy palstaves and a chisel.’
    • ‘As this was the first report of the discovery of Gold ribbon torcs to be received for many years it caused considerable excitement in the Irish Antiqwuities division of the National Museum.’
    • ‘Turning, Amagar found a man in a deep red cloak with a golden torque at his neck and fingers rich in gems that proclaimed his wealth.’
    • ‘Notable artefacts included a cast copper alloy drinking-horn end, a section of a copper alloy bracelet or torc, and two sections of stone finger rings.’
    • ‘The 2,000-year-old treasure is part of a gold torc, a type of Iron Age necklet, and was found by archaeologists in a field in Sedgeford.’
    • ‘The National Museum of Ireland has confirmed that it has carried out an archaeological search on a beach in Erris following the discovery of two ‘priceless’ gold torcs that date back to the Bronze Age.’
    • ‘The final member was the hefty Rris with the jeweled torc, also a black leather vest and ornate sheath - empty - slung at the belt: Hiskny, their ‘security’ Advisor.’
    • ‘Fragments of a life-size statue, along with two ornate altars, all now in the Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne, show it was dedicated to Antenociticus, a youthful god with a neck torque.’


Mid 19th century: from French torque, from Latin torques (see torch).