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[tawrk] /tɔrk/
Mechanics. something that produces or tends to produce torsion or rotation; the moment of a force or system of forces tending to cause rotation.
Machinery. the measured ability of a rotating element, as of a gear or shaft, to overcome turning resistance.
Optics. the rotational effect on plane-polarized light passing through certain liquids or crystals.
Also, torc. a collar, necklace, or similar ornament consisting of a twisted narrow band, usually of precious metal, worn especially by the ancient Gauls and Britons.
verb (used with object), torqued, torquing.
Machinery. to apply torque to (a nut, bolt, etc.).
to cause to rotate or twist.
verb (used without object), torqued, torquing.
to rotate or twist.
Origin of torque
1825-35; < Latin torquēre to twist; (def 4) < French torque < Latin torques torques (torc perhaps < Irish ≪ L) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for torque
  • Yet the car's surge of electric torque is seamless, enough to leave yellow cabs in our wake.
  • Having access to such a wide torque band eliminates the need for a second or third gear in the transmission.
  • The astronauts were forced to increase the torque of their instruments to remove the bolt, an extremely risky maneuver.
  • The key elements that make a solid disc rotate are torque and surface stress.
  • However, you do need to know the direction of the torque for this example.
  • Replacing the torque converter seal and adding caps to openings in both sides of the housing should provide a seal.
  • It is part of a current system forced by the torque exerted on the ocean by the wind field.
  • It consumes no gas, releases zero-emissions from its tailpipe, and has lots of high torque for a zippy pick-up on the road.
  • And there are no gears to shift-it's all torque from the second you press down on the accelerator.
  • Since he is not rotating, the total torque about any point must also add up to zero.
British Dictionary definitions for torque


Also torc. a necklace or armband made of twisted metal, worn esp by the ancient Britons and Gauls
any force or system of forces that causes or tends to cause rotation
the ability of a shaft to cause rotation
Word Origin
C19: from Latin torquēs necklace, and torquēre to twist
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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Word Origin and History for torque

"rotating force," 1884, from Latin torquere "to twist" (see thwart). The verb is attested from 1954. The word also is used (since 1834) by antiquarians and others as a term for the twisted metal necklace worn anciently by Gauls, Britons, Germans, etc., from Latin torques in this sense. Earlier it had been called in English torques (1690s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torque in Medicine

torque (tôrk)
A turning or twisting force.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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torque in Science
The tendency of a force applied to an object to make it rotate about an axis. For a force applied at a single point, the magnitude of the torque is equal to the magnitude of the force multiplied by the distance from its point of application to an axis of rotation. Torque is also a vector quantity, equal to the vector product of the vector pointing from the axis to the point of application of force and the vector of force; torque thus points upward from a counterclockwise rotation. See also angular momentum, lever.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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