strappado

[struh-pey-doh, -pah-]
noun, plural strappadoes.
1.
an old form of punishment or torture in which the victim, with arms bound behind, was raised from the ground by a rope fastened to the wrists, abruptly released, then arrested with a painful jerk just before reaching the ground.
2.
the instrument used for this purpose.

Origin:
1550–60; alteration of Middle French strapade or its source, Italian strappata a sharp pull or tug, equivalent to strapp- (stem of strappare to snatch (< Gothic strappan to stretch) + -ata -ade1

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World English Dictionary
strappado (strəˈpeɪdəʊ, -ˈpɑː-)
 
n , pl -does
a system of torture in which a victim was hoisted by a rope tied to his wrists and then allowed to drop until his fall was suddenly checked by the rope
 
[C16: from French strapade, from Italian strappare to tug sharply, probably of Germanic origin; related to German (dialect) strapfen to make taut]

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Example sentences
All one needed to set up a strappado was a sturdy rafter and a rope.
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