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TORCH'-BEAR-ER, n. [torch and bear.]

One whose office is to carry a torch. Sidney.


One that gives light. [Not in use.] Shak.

TORCH'-LIGHT, n. [torch and light.]

  1. The light of a torch or of torches.
  2. A light kindled to supply the want of the sun. Bacon.


A plant of the genus Cereus. Lee. The common name of a genus of the order Cactaceæ, called cereus, from cera, wax, from the resemblance of the stems to a wax candle. Torch-thistle is from the prickly stems, used by the Indians for torches. Cyc.


A plant. More.

TORE, n.1 [perhaps from tear; W. tori, to break.]

The dead grass that remains on mowing land in winter and spring. [Used in New England.] Mortimer.

TORE, n.2 [L. torus.]

In architecture, a large round molding on the base of a column. It is distinguished from the astragal by its size. The bases of the Tuscan and Doric columns have only one tore, which is between the plinth and listel. In the Attic base there are two. Cyc.

TORE, v. [pret. of Tear.]

He tore his robe.

TO-REU-MA-TOG'RA-PHY, n. [Gr. τορευμα, sculpture, and γραφη, description.]

A description of ancient sculptures and basso-relievos. Cyc.

TO-REU-MA-TOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. τορευμα, sculpture, and λογος.]

The art or description of sculpture and bas-relief.

TO-REU'TIC, a. [Gr. τορευτος, polished.]

In sculpture, highly finished or polished.

TOR'MENT, n. [Fr. tourment; L. tormentum; It. and Sp. tormento; probably from the root of L. torqueo, torno, Eng. tour; that is, from twisting, straining.]

  1. Extreme pain; anguish; the utmost degree of misery, either of body or mind. The more I see / Pleasure about me, so much I feel / Torment within me. Milton. Lest they also come into this place of torment. Luke xvi. Rev. ix. xiv.
  2. That which gives pain, vexation or misery. They brought to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments. Matth. iv.
  3. An engine for casting stones. Elyot.

TOR-MENT', v.t.

  1. To put to extreme pain or anguish; to inflict excruciating pain and misery, either of body or mind. Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Matth. viii. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone. Rev. xiv.
  2. To pain; to distress. Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. Matth. viii.
  3. To tease; to vex; to harass; as, to be tormented with importunities, or with petty annoyances.
  4. To put into great agitation. They soaring on main wing / Tormented all the air. [Unusual.] Milton.


Pained to extremity; teased; harassed.

TOR'MENT-IL, n. [Fr. tormentille; It. tormentilla.]

The septfoil, Potentilla Tormentilla. The root is used in medicine as a powerful astringent, and for alleviating gripes or tormina in cases of diarrhea, whence its name. Cyc.


In agriculture, an imperfect sort of horse-hoeing. Cyc.


Paining to an extreme degree; inflicting severe distress and anguish; teasing; vexing.


In a manner tending to produce distress or anguish.


  1. He or that which torments; one who inflicts penal anguish or tortures. Milton. Dryden.
  2. In agriculture, an instrument for reducing a stiff soil. Cyc.

TORN, pp. [of Tear.]

Neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn by the beasts in the field. Exod. xxii.

TOR-NA'DO, n. [from the root of turn; that is, a whirling wind. The Sp. and Port. tornada is a return.]

A violent gust of wind, or a tempest, distinguished by a whirling motion. Tornadoes of this kind happen after extreme heat, and sometimes in the United States, rend up fences and trees, and in a few instances have overthrown houses and torn them to pieces. Tornadoes are usually accompanied with severe thunder, lightning and torrents of rain; but they are of short duration, and narrow in breadth.

TO'ROUS, a. [L. torosus.]

In botony, protuberant; swelling in knobs, like the veins and muscles; as, a torous pericarp. Martyn.

TOR-PE'DO, n. [L. from torpeo, to be numb.]

  1. The cramp fish or electric ray. This name designates a genus of fishes of several species, which are commonly confounded with each other. These fishes are usually taken in forty fathoms water, on the coast of France and England, and in the Mediterranean. A touch of them occasions a numbness in the limb, accompanied with an indescribable and painful sensation, and is really an electric shock. When dead, they lose the power of producing this sensation. Cyc.
  2. An engine invented for the purpose of destroying shipping by blowing them up.

TOR'PENT, a. [L. torpens, torpeo.]

Benumbed; torpid; having no motion or activity; incapable of motion. A frail and torment memory. Evelyn.


In medicine, that which diminishes the exertion of the irritative motions. Darwin.