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late 13c., "inflicting of torture," also "state of great suffering," from Old French tourment (11c.), from Latin tormentum "twisted sling, rack," related to torquere "to twist" (see thwart).
late 13c., from Old French tormenter (12c.), from Latin tormentare, from tormentum (see torment (n.)). Related: Tormented; tormenting.
Gr. basanos (Matt. 4:24), the "touch-stone" of justice; hence inquisition by torture, and then any disease which racks and tortures the limbs.