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pilliwinks

[pil-uh-wingks] /ˈpɪl əˌwɪŋks/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
1.
an old instrument of torture similar to the thumbscrew.
Origin
late Middle English
1350-1400
1350-1400; Scots variant of late Middle English pyrwykes, pyrewinkes < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pilliwinks

pilliwinks

/ˈpɪlɪˌwɪŋks/
plural noun
1.
a medieval instrument of torture for the fingers and thumbs
Word Origin
C14: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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