Definition of torturous in US English:

torturous

adjective

  • Characterized by, involving, or causing excruciating pain or suffering.

    ‘a torturous eight weeks in their prison camp’
    • ‘Endure that torturous progression fifty times, and you've made it one year.’
    • ‘Another incredibly busy day at work made torturous by the fact that my Launchcast just stopped working.’
    • ‘The last quarter of an hour of the game was torturous.’
    • ‘After a period of intense interrogation under torturous conditions, he is sent to a POW camp.’
    • ‘Yes, the wait was more torturous than a negative outcome, so I believe.’
    • ‘First, the process of creating fur is an ugly, brutal and arguably torturous business.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the other hand, however, he wouldn't have to continue with that torturous pain anymore.’
    • ‘Anyway, we drew a little face on the asthma puffer mask and turned the whole torturous experience into a counting game.’
    • ‘Seeing Adam is only slightly less torturous than getting my teeth cleaned.’
    • ‘Trying to write articles is a torturous process for me.’
    • ‘My understanding of Roman history is that they were incredibly gory and torturous in their punishment.’
    • ‘It was a bid to create a fuzzy feeling about the pairing, attempting to make it look like theirs hasn't just been a torturous marriage of convenience.’
    • ‘Agonizing, torturous hours were lost as he waited outside of Laura's chambers.’
    • ‘I was convinced that I had participated in his torturous murder but continued to pull harder as ordered.’
    • ‘Before that, is a torturous trek down the three-kilometre stretch before you reach the saner parts of Bangalore.’
    • ‘He is a farmer who marries a rich woman from the city and finds life in Athens with her and his delinquent son torturous.’
    • ‘These torturous cruelties happen every day and night, also just like I said.’
    • ‘College life is supposedly the best period in one's life, but ragging can make it the most torturous phase one would go through.’
    • ‘Neither sounded very pleasant, for he knew both would be excruciatingly long and torturous.’
    stabbing, shooting, penetrating, piercing, sharp, keen, racking, searing, burning, consuming
    View synonyms

Usage

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

torturous

/ˈtôrCH(ə)rəs//ˈtɔrtʃ(ə)rəs/