Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture suffered by inmates in the camp. An experience or cause of severe pain or anguish:"Just to watch them handling thick woolen winter coats in that heat was, for me, a torture"(Arthur Miller). To subject (a person or animal) to torture. To bring great physical or mental pain upon (another). See Synonyms at afflict. To overwork, misinterpret, or distort: torture a metaphor throughout an essay; torture a rule to make it fit a case.