Dictionary: TORT – TO'RY-ISM

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TORT, n. [Fr. from L. tortus, twisted, from torqueo. The primary sense is to turn or strain, hence to twist.]

  1. In law, any wrong or injury. Torts are injuries done to the person or property of another, as trespass, assault and battery, defamation and the like. Blackstone.
  2. Mischief; calamity. Spenser. [Except in the legal sense above explained, it is obsolete.]

TOR'TEAU, n. [In heraldry, a red roundel. – E. H. B.]

TORT'ILE, or TOR'TIL, a. [L. tortilis.]

Twisted; wreathed; coiled. In botany, coiled like a rope; as, a tortile awn. Martyn.

TOR'TION, n. [L. tortus.]

Torment; pain. [Not in use.] Bacon.

TOR'TIOUS, a. [from tort.]

  1. Injurious; done by wrong.
  2. In law, implying tort, or injury for which the law gives damages.

TORT'IVE, a. [L. tortus.]

Twisted; wreathed. Shak.

TOR'TOISE, n. [tor'tis; from L. tortus, twisted.]

  1. An animal of the genus Testudo, covered with a shell or crust.
  2. In the military art, a defense used by the ancients, formed by the troops arranging themselves in close order and placing their bucklers over their heads, making a cover resembling a tortoise-shell.

TOR'TOISE-SHELL, n. [tortoise and shell.]

The shell or rather scales of the tortoise, used in inlaying and in various manufactures. Cyc.

TORT-U-OS'I-TY, n. [from tortuous.]

The state of being twisted or wreathed; wreath; flexure. Brown.

TORT'U-OUS, a. [L. tortuosus; Fr. tortueux.]

  1. Twisted; wreathed; winding; as, a tortuous train: a tortuos leaf or corol, in botany. Milton. Martyn.
  2. Tortious. [Not used. See Tortious.] Spenser.


In a winding manner.


The state of being twisted.

TORT'URE, n. [Fr. torture; It. and Sp. tortura; from L. tortus, torqueo, to twist, W. torçi; probably from the root of turn. See Tour.]

  1. Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment. Ghastly spasm or racking torture. Milton.
  2. Severe pain inflicted judicially, either as a punishment for a crime, or for the pupose of extorting a confession from an accused person. Torture may be and is inflicted in a variety of ways, as by water or by fire, or by the boot or thumb-kin. But the most usual mode is by the rack or wheel. Paley. Cyc.

TORT'URE, v.t.

  1. To pain to extremity; to torment.
  2. To punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture an accused person.
  3. To vex; to harass. Addison.
  4. To keep on the stretch, as a bow. [Not in use.] Bacon.


Tormented; stretched on the wheel; harassed.


One who tortures; a tormenter. Bacon.


Tormenting; stretching on the rack; vexing.


So as to torture or torment. Beaum.


Tormenting. [Not in use.] More.


In botany, cylindrical, with several swells and contractions.

TO'RUS, n.

A molding. [See Tore.]

TORV'I-TY, n. [L. torvitas; from twisting, supra.]

Sourness or severity of countenance.

TORV'OUS, a. [L. torvus, from the root of torqueo, to twist.]

Sour of aspect; stern; of a severe countenance. Derham.

TO'RY, n. [said to be an Irish word, denoting a robber; perhaps from tor, a bush, as the Irish banditti lived in the mountains or among trees.]

The name given to an adherent to the ancient constitution of England and to the apostolical hierarchy. The tories form a party which are charged with supporting more arbitrary principles in government than the whigs, their opponents. In America, during the revolution, those who opposed the war and favored the claims of Great Britain, were called tories.


The principles of the tories.