What is torture?

  • (noun): Unbearable physical pain.
    Synonyms: torment
    See also — Additional definitions below


Torture is the practice or act of deliberately inflicting severe physical pain and possibly injury on a person, though psychological and animal torture also exist. Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals, groups and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, and forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from only a few minutes to several days or even longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, interrogation or coercion of the victim or a third party, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. The torturer may or may not intend to kill or injure the victim, but sometimes torture is deliberately fatal and can accompany forms of murder or capital punishment. The aim may also be to inflict pain but without causing fatal injury, or sometimes any injury at all. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. There is also torture that can be fatal eventually, but where attempts are made not to kill the victim quickly to prolong the length of time of the suffering.

Read more about Torture.

Some articles on torture:

Torture - Rehabilitation - Broken Societies
... can be more or less traumatized where torture has been used in a systematic and widespread manner ... Providing psychosocial support and redress to survivors of torture and trauma can help reconstruct broken societies ... and hope, and act as a symbol of triumph over the manmade terror of torture which can hold back the development of democracy of entire societies." ...
Spyros Moustaklis
... he actively opposed the dictatorship and suffered permanent damage as the result of torture, making him a symbol of the anti-junta resistance ... and suppressed, he was arrested and tortured by the Greek Military Police in the torture chambers of EAT/ESA ... on 22 May 1973 and stayed at the EAT/ESA torture centre for 47 days, but despite the efforts of his interrogators, he did not betray his colleagues ...
Stephen Soldz
... regarding allegations of the use of psychological torture by the U.S ... military base at Guantanamo Bay of developing and applying torture techniques on detainees while advising interrogators on the levels of abuse that. 2007, Soldz coauthored an article on psychological torture at Guantanamo Bay with Julian Assange, published via WikiLeaks ...
Marange Diamond Fields - Government Crackdowns - Torture
... state broadcaster, claims Zimbabwe's security forces have a torture camp in the Marange diamond fields methods include severe beatings, sexual assault and dog mauling according to alleged victims ...
L'Hermitage Slave Village Archeological Site - Slavery
... that he had been told of tyranny and torture at the plantation June 15 ... One can see on the home farm instruments of torture, stocks, wooden horses, whips, etc ... Two or three negroes crippled with torture have brought legal action.. ...

More definitions of "torture":

  • (noun): The act of torturing someone.
    Example: "It required unnatural torturing to extract a confession"
    Synonyms: torturing
  • (noun): Intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain.
    Synonyms: agony, torment

Famous quotes containing the word torture:

    I’m folding up my little dreams
    Within my heart tonight,
    And praying I may soon forget
    The torture of their sight.
    Georgia Douglas Johnson (1886–1966)

    He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
    Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
    And that unrest which men miscall delight,
    Can touch him not and torture not again;
    From the contagion of the world’s slow stain
    He is secure, and now can never mourn
    A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    Better be with the dead,
    Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
    Than on the torture of the mind to lie
    In restless ecstasy.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)