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thumbscrew

[thuhm-skroo] /ˈθʌmˌskru/
noun
1.
a screw, the head of which is so constructed that it may be turned easily with the thumb and a finger.
2.
Often, thumbscrews. an old instrument of torture by which one or both thumbs were compressed.
Origin
1705-1715
1705-15; thumb + screw
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for thumbscrew
  • It's amazing what a glance at the rack and the thumbscrew will do to a guy's resolve.
British Dictionary definitions for thumbscrew

thumbscrew

/ˈθʌmˌskruː/
noun
1.
an instrument of torture that pinches or crushes the thumbs
2.
a screw with projections on its head enabling it to be turned by the thumb and forefinger
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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